With a Friend to make shorter short days by a Jug
And some Books for amusement at night
And could I enjoy such a peaceable lot
I'd ne'er cast on Fortune a frown
Nor would I possesing my Friend, Books, and Cott
Exchange 'em away for a — Crown!
From Helpston in rural Northamptonshire, John Clare was born in 1793. He is now regarded as the most important poet of the natural world from Britain. He wrote many poems, essays, journals and letters about love, sex, corruption and politics, environmental and social change, poverty and folk life. Even in his madness, his talents were not diminished. Ronald Blythe, President of the John Clare Society, sees Clare as "... England's most articulate village voice". Clare died, aged 71, in 1864.