Sonnet on the River Gash*

[The bridge over the Gwash at Great Casterton]

Where winding gash* wirls round its wildest scene
On this romantic bend I sit me down
On that side view the meads their smoothing green
Edg'd with the peeping hamlets checkering brown
Here the steep hill as dripping headlong down
While glides the stream a silver streak between
As glides the shaded clouds along the sky
Brightning & deep'ning loosing as they're seen
In light & shade—so when old willows lean
Thus their broad shadow—runs the river bye
With tree & bush repleat a wilderd scene
& mossd & Ivyd sparkling on my eye—
O thus wild musing am I doubly blest
My woes unheeding—& my heart at rest

Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820)

*Gwash, where Clare met his wife-to-be Patty, “a fair girl of eighteen, slender, with regular features, and pretty blue eyes".  They were married in March 1820 in the church of St Peter and St Paul, Great Casterton, close by where the Gwash crosses under the Great North Road.  Patty was born in Tickencote, the nearby hamlet, the river Gwash virtually joins the two villages together.  How pleasant is must have been, walking together on the riverside path on a summer’s day.  Alas now ‘enclosed’ and thus ‘private’ land. 

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