The Winters Spring

Clare, after over five years in Northampton General Asylum, describing the winter that lies within?  Bereft as he is of his family, and the familiar haunts of Helpston - solitary, yet able to describe with piercing clarity his desolation.  Or is it about the weather?

The winter comes I walk alone
I want no birds to sing
To those who keep their hearts their own
The winter is the Spring
No flowers to please—no bees to hum
The coming Springs already come
I never want the christmas rose
To come before its time
The seasons each as God bestows
Are simple and sublime
I love to see the snow storm hing
'Tis but the winter garb of Spring
I never want the grass to bloom
The snow-storm's best in white
I love to see the tempest come
And love its piercing light
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
O'er snow white meadows sees the Spring
I love the snow the crimpling snow
That hangs on every thing
It covers every thing below
Like white doves brooding wing
A landscape to the aching sight
A vast expance of dazzling light
It is the foliage of the woods
That winter's bring—The dress
White easter of the year in bud
That makes the winter Spring
The frost and snow his poseys bring
Natures white spirits of the Spring

Feby 23rd/47

John Clare, Selected Poems,
ed. J.W. and Anne Tibble
(Everyman, 1965)

No comments: