Come away come away to the wild wood

[Photo : Anne Lee]

[Really not a complete poem, but a series of jottings later to be worked up.  Clare never came back to them again - I feel some memorable images that I am glad were not lost]

Come away come away to the wild wood
Where the bramble o'erhangs the footway
The scenes o' my love youth and childhood
Where I with young Hannah did stray
The bits of wood hang on the briar
Which small birds seek for nests
The pettichap that sings so quere
And robins riddle brests—

Come away come away to the scenes of our childhood
And we'll find out the red robins nest
The bramble bush grows in the wild wood
That owns the song thrush for a guest

Come away come away to the bramble
Come away to the hazle and thorn
To the scenes o' our youth let us ramble
And be happy as sunshine just born

Come away to the oak and the ivy
To the fox earths that hides i' the thorn
Where the oak trunks look whiter than smoke in the morn

Come away come away at the burst of the sun
There is flowers to be gathered and joy to be won
So come on my sweet one—and let us be there
Where hyacinth and primroses blossom so fair

Come away to the haunts o' the bird and the bee
And listen to music o' natures grand art
Where the flowers beat all painting do come now with me
For music and beauty must never more part

Come away to the woods where the oaks glitter green
And brown lie in heaps where last winter has been
Where the bloom o' the thorn is as white as a sheet
And the moss like green velvet flowers under your feet

Come away my sweet one my choice come away
And we'll spend a sweet hour in the woodlands today

The Later Poems of John Clare 1837-1864
ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell

(Oxford, 2 volumes, I-II, 1984)

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