The Country Girl

O dear what fine thinkings beset me
Sin' the young Farmer yesterday met me
To tell me for truth he wou'd get me
Some service more fitting in town
For he said 'twas a shame & he swore too
That I should be serv'd so & more too
& that he was vex'd oer & oer too
To see me so sadly run down

When to thank him—for curtsy'ng I dropt me
He said twas all foolish & stopt me—
& into his arms Oh he popt me!
And crumpl'd my bonnet awry
The tray sav'd the fall till he mov'd it
& this way & that way he shov'd it
Good behaviour he said how he lov'd it
When maids wa'n't so foolish & shy

O dear what fine thinkings beset me
Since the young Farmer promis'd & met me
Of what he would do & would get me
How my heart pittapatters about
Tho Fear—none but fools make a trade on—
He swore when he saw what I play'd on
‘My word is my bond pretty maiden’
Then why need I harbour a doubt

Tho the tell clacking grass's foul staining
In my holiday clothes is remaining

I ne'er shall go make no complaining
I've promise o' better in Town
So Chub needn't come no more croaking
To maul one about so provoking
I know what is what—wi'out Joking
Theres nought got by pleasing a Clown

The Early Poems of John Clare 1804-1822
ed. Eric Robinson, David Powell and Margaret Grainge
(Oxford, 2 volumes, I-II, 1989)

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