To His Wife

In my young days, I pluck't a rose;
It grew upon a pleasant tree,—
No prickles on its stem arose,—
It never wounded me.

It grew upon a pleasant spot;
On mountain heath so fair,
And pleasant was the little cot;
Near which it flourished there.

I knew it when a blooming bud,
Nursed by the morning dew,
I knew the cottage where it stood,
And beautiful it grew.

Flowers on the hills had grown,
The woods were all in tune,
The bud became full blown;
The sweetest rose of June.

I saw it every day,
A hue that health will seek;
There's such a rose in May,
Comes on the maidens cheek.

I went again in spring;
'Twas somewere near the may,
Birds had begun to sing,—
When I took the rose away.

I planted it with care,
I watched it bloom from ill,
It scented all the air,
And blossoms sweeter still.

The Later Poems of John Clare 1837-1864
ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell
(Oxford, 2 volumes, I-II, 1984)

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