Mary mary charming mary

One of the 'steamy' poems that will figure in our 3rd Book "A Ghostly Love", which will explore, in John's poems and prose, his illusory relationship with Mary Joyce.  Very little chance of this being published in Clare's time of course.  It dates from around 1819, whilst he was courting Patty Turner.

Mary mary charming mary
Now the sun has sunk to rest
& the even breeze so airy
Tries to bare thy snowy breast
How I love wi thee to wander
Mary o how sweet wi thee
Dusky meadows to meander
Where no soul can hear or see

As we pause by lake or fountain
On thy bosom bending free
Ah how sweet sensations counting
When I know each throbs for me

As thy face turns on the azure
Looking where the moon may dwell
As I fold thy beautys treasure
Wheres the kiss can taste so well

As the hour of even closes
& my lingering wi thy charms
Plants thy cheek wi maiden roses
& thy modesty alarms
Who sweet girl coud not adore thee
& tho beauty thee has blest
When that modesty comes oer thee
Prove that virtue pleases best

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

No comments: