There is a feeling nought can calm

There is a feeling nought can calm
A passion nought can quell
The mention of a sweethearts name
That fond thoughts dare not tell
To know thee thus my dearest maid
& then to part in twain
The thunder making earth affraid
Will smile upon the main

The just may fall by thunder shocks
That never knew a crime
& earthquakes rend the lonely rocks
That upward used to climb
But love fond love that wedlock ties
Each other as their own
Then choked to tears & stifled sighs
& petrified to stone

For thee dear maid I touch the strings
& keep my heart awake
Tis simple truth the ballad sings
That love will not forsake
& stubborn are the hands that strike
The chords to melody
That loved the many all alike
With a double love for thee

Thy pedigree & titles high
As shadows pass away
& that fine face & brighter eye
Must also meet decay
But love that warmed us at the first
Can live & love alone
Nor ever die bye fate accursed
Though petrified to stone

The Later Poems of John Clare
ed. Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield
(Manchester University Press, 1964)

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