My Bonny Jane

The cows are from the pasture gone  The sheep are bleating in the pen
The path they travelled one by one  Is o'er the fallows beat agen
The sparrow chelps along the eaves  The whasp hums in the window pane
And I'll of labour take my leave  And gang and court young bonny Jane

The plums are misted o'er wi' dew  And rosey streaks the apples wear
But Jinney's cheeks a sweeter hue  Than either apple plumb or pear
The sun sinks o'er the willows grey  And clammy got the fields o' grain
And at her own home ends that day  I kissed the lips O bonny Jane

Her dark [hair] hangs in parted curl  Aside her forehead white as snow
She seemed a maid [of] other worlds  Too fair for any thing below
We stood beside the turnpike way  Such meetings seldom come again
That piece of animated clay  I clasped and kissed young bonny Jane

The mallow looked like satin flowers  Cut by some fond and fairy queen
The nettle fit for garden bowers  Did no where look so richly green
They cant' be common nettles sure  I said and stooped to look again
But love stood there blind eyes to cure  My ain sweet fairy bonny Jane

The bee resumed its honey tone around  And searched the alloes bloom
The windows too were open thrown  For buzing whasps to leave the room
Her hair was lappit in a comb  Then twisted glossy round again
That sweet white bosome was loves home  O my ain dear bonny Jane

The hens had clockit up to bed  The chicks where yet within the pen
The sparrows from the wheatfields sped  To Jinney's mossy eaves agen
O' Jinney is the bonny flower  The severest parting pain
Wi' many a vow and promise fair  I kissed and left my bonny Jane

The sun set red the weary crow  Flew homeward to the woods agen
The willows grey waved too and fro  And dews fell like a misty rain
She threw her kerchief o'er her hair  Her fond kiss cured the parting pain
Wi' many a vow and promise fair  I kissed and left my bonny Jane

LP II 745
KT ii 84-5

Another amazing poem from Clare's incarceration, that may be read as one, two or three separate poems.  Again in no collections apart from the Clarendon editions.


Anonymous said...

Excellent poem- has it ever been recorded as a song, or set to music?

Arborfield said...

Not to my knowledge...