(from 'The Village Funeral')
















Clare, as always, has a sonnet for the current news :

Who is but grievd to see the fatherless
Stroll with their rags unnotisc'd thro the street
What eye but moistens at their sad distress
& sheds compassions tear where ere they meet
Yon Workhouse stands as their asylum now
The place where poverty demands to live
Where parish bounty scouls his scornful brow
& grudges the scant fare he's forc'd to give —
O may I dye before I'm doom'd to seek
That last resource of hope but ill suply'd
To claim the humble pittance once a week
Which justice forces from disdainful pride
Where the lost orphan lowly bending weeps
Unnotisc'd by the heedless as they pass

Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820)

2 comments:

Lionel Little said...

Is this a sonnet, or a 14 line slice of a 96 line poem?
How well it shows the riches of his poetry that sonnet sized extracts and sometimes single verses are happy to stand alone and still be meaningful.

DEI-EX said...

Ah Lionel... you found me out. I have been long struck that portions of Clare's longer works may be arranged thus. Glad you agree...