To P++++

[Image: Anne Lee]

Fair was thy bloom when first I met
Thy summers maiden blossom
& thou art fair & lovely yet
& dearer to my bosom
O thou wast once a wildling flower
All garden flowers excelling
& still I bless the happy hour
That led me to thy dwelling

Though nursed by field & brook & wood
& wild in every feature
Spring neer unsealed a fairer bud
Nor formed a blossom sweeter
& of all flowers the spring has met
& it has met with many
Thou art to me the fairest yet
& lovliest of any

Though ripening summers round thee bring
Buds to thy swelling bosom
That wait the cheering smiles of spring
To ripen into blossom
These buds shall added blessings be
To make our love sincerer
For as their flowers resemble thee
Theyll make thy memory dearer

& though thy bloom shall pass away
By winter overtaken
Thoughts of the past will charms display
& many joys awaken
When time shall every sweet remove
& blight thee on my bosom
Let beauty fade—to me & love
Thoult neer be out of blossom

Poems by John Clare
ed. Norman Gale (Rugby: George E. Over, 1901)

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