The Fen

[Photo  : Anne Lee]

The dreary fen a waste of water goes,
With nothing to be seen but Royston crows;
The traveller journeying on the road for hours
Sees nothing but the dykes and water-flowers.
The lonely lodges scattered miles away
Lock up from fear and robbers all the day;
The merry maiden that no place dislikes
Runs out and fills her kettle from the dykes.
She hurries wildly from the face of men
And knows no company but cock and hen.
Here highland maiden sees in Sunday's hour
The glorious sight of sainfoin grounds in flower,
And meets the savoury smells that wake the morn,
The woodbine hedges and the poppied corn.

The Oxford Authors: John Clare
ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell (Oxford, 1984)

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