She's Lovely in her Person

She's lovely in her person               And taller in her size
Then some bards make a verse on   And lovely are her eyes
She's worth a Poets ransome          She chills my heart on fire
Her face is very handsome              And warm as my desire
O' beautifull is woman                    In her secret love for Man
Like flowers eternal blooming          And I'll win her if I can
I'll win her and I'll wear her             Like a nose gay on the breast
And on my heart I'll bear her           Like a nosegay sweetly prest
She shall be mine for ever               And that I'm sure she shall
And a pleasant kiss I'll give her       As a sweet and lovely girl
Her cheeks are like two roses          And her lips are ruby red
And whatever truth supposes          I should like her downy bed
Her cheeks are bonny roses           And auburn is her hair
Her eye as dark as sloes is            Her neck is lilly fair
She's love among the roses           When the leaves wear morning gems
Her bosom white as snows is         Her eyes two diadems
To conquor and to kill ye               If ye worship them too long
And will ye love or will ye              She's the sweetest girl in Song

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

1 comment:

Anne Lee said...

I really like the structure of this poem, it is so unusual, for Clare, I think, but also in general in poetry? I would like to find out if Clare has written other poems in this form, or indeed other poets? Apart from that I find the description of this lady so beautiful, it is so touching that she loves in secret and one gets the feeling that Clare loved her secretly too, I wonder who she was?