from "The Wish"

Ah scenes so happy void of all controul
Your seeming prospects heightens up my soul;
E'en now so bright the fairy vision flies,
I mark its flight as with possesing eyes
But thats in vain—to hope the wish was gave
It clogs the mind and binds the heart a slave.
Tis nothing but a wish one vents at will
Still vainly wishing and be wanting still
For when a wishing mind enjoys the view
He dont expect it ever will come true,
Yet when he cherishes the pleasing thought
He still keeps wishing till he wants for nought,
And so will I—My eyes shall wander oer
A Pleasent prospect, Acres just threescore,
And this the measure of my whole domains
Should be divided into woods and plains,
O'er the fair plains should roam a single cow
For not one foot should ever want the plough
This would be toiling so I'd never crave
One single thing where labour makes a slave.
Tho health from exercise is said to spring
Foolhardy toil that health will never bring.
But 'stead of health—dire ills a numerous train
Will shed their torments with afflictive pain.
Be as it will I hold in spite of strife
That health ne'er rises from a labouring life

(lines 177 to 202)

The Early Poems of John Clare 1804-1822
ed. Eric Robinson, David Powell and Margaret Grainger
(Oxford, 2 volumes, I-II, 1989)

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