There's music in the songs of birds

There's music in the songs of birds
There's music in the bee
There's music in a womans voice
When sitting on your knee
While walking in the mossy vales
Beneath the spreading beech
Song lives in singing nightingales
And in a womans speech

To hear her wisper in the dark
'Tis heavens melody
Her calm reply her wise remark
Is more than song to me
The harp can touch no sweeter chord
In music's thrilling choice
Nor music breathe a sweeter word
Than comes from womans voice

There's music in the singing lark
That carols to the sky
To hear her wisper in the dark
'Tis heavens melody
There's music in a womans voice
While sitting on your knee
And Emma is my own heart's choice
When e'er she chooses me

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

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)

From "Reccolections After a Ramble"

The rosey day was sweet & young
The clod brown lark that haild the morn
Had just her summer anthem sung
& trembling dropped in the corn
The dew raisd flower was perk & proud
The butterflye around it playd
The skyes blue clear save wooly cloud
That passt the sun without a shade
On the pismires castle hill
While the burnet buttons quakd
While beside the stone pavd rill
Cowslap bunshes nodding shakd
Bees in every peep did try
Great had been the honey shower
Soon their load was on their thigh
Yellow dust as fine as flour

(lines 1-16)
The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems (2 volumes, 1821)

The Moth a Coy Lover

The Moth a coy lover now ventures to creep
Out at night to steal kisses from flowers when asleep
But the Butterflye bold as the Bee for a plot
Kisses the flowers all the day whether willing or not
Now no longer able his sports to pursue
He lay neath a leaf to get out of the dew
Heres the Cockchaffer to with his old sullen drone
Sings as if he thought no song sweet as his own
The Bee too with grains of red dust on each thigh
Who had drained thro the day all the honey flowers dry
& in vain he attempted straight forward to drive
He reeled and mistook the way home to his hive
Till lost on this spot in a considerable fright
He makes on this thistle a bed for the night
Heres the rope dancing spider a trusting his threads
From his web on the branches high over their heads
Ah well may you laugh at the sports he doth make
While he dances away in no fears for his neck
The rest were all coupled & happy & they
Song the old merry songs which they sang at his day

Pet MS A31 p9
(Unpublished as far as I can tell)


The fields now claim them where a motley crew
Of old and young their daily tasks pursue
The barleys beard is grey and wheat is brown
And wakens toil betimes to leave the town
The reapers leave their beds before the sun
And gleaners follow in the toils begun
To pick the littered ear the reaper leaves
And glean in open fields among the sheaves
The ruddy child nursed in the lap of care
In toils rude strife to do his little share
Beside his mother poddles oer the land
Sun burnt and stooping with a weary hand
Picking his tiney glean of corn or wheat
While crackling stubbles wound his little feet
Full glad he often is to sit awhile
Upon a smooth green baulk to ease his toil
And feign would spend an idle hour to play
With insects strangers to the moiling day
Creeping about each rush and grassy stem
And often wishes he was one of them
In weariness of heart that he might lye
Hid in the grass from the days burning eye
That raises tender blisters on his skin
Thro holes or openings that have lost a pin
Free from the crackling stubs to toil and glean
And smiles to think how happy he had been
Whilst his expecting mother stops to tye
Her handful up and waiting his supply
Misses the idle younker from her side
And shouts of rods and morts of threats beside
Pointing to the grey willows while she tells
His fears shall fetch one if he still rebells

(Lines 15 to 46)
The Shepherd's Calendar with Village Stories and Other Poems (1927)

A Morning Walk

[Image : “Waiting for a Smile”(1890) by Alfred Stieglitz]

Ah sure it is a lovely day
As ever summers glory yields
& I will put my books away
& wander in the fields
Just risen is the red round sun
Cocks from the roost doth loudly bawl
& house bee busily begun
Hums round the mortered wall
& while I take my staff to start
Birds sing among the eldern leaves
& fighting sparrows glad at heart
Chirp in the cottage eaves
Nor can I help but turn & view
Ere yet I close the creaking door
The sunbeams eager peeping through
Upon the sanded floor

(lines 1-16)

The Midsummer Cushion
ed. Kelsey Thornton and Anne Tibble
(Ashington and Manchester: Mid-NAG and Carcanet, 1979)