The Winter's Spring

The winter comes; I walk alone,
I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their hearts their own
The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please--no bees to hum--
The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
To come before its time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the crumpling snow
That hangs on everything,
It covers everything below
Like white dove's brooding wing,
A landscape to the aching sight,
A vast expanse of dazzling light.

It is the foliage of the woods
That winters bring--the dress,
White Easter of the year in bud,
That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow his posies bring,
Nature's white spurts of the spring.

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Signs of Winter

The cat runs races with her tail. The dog
Leaps oer the orchard hedge and knarls the grass.
The swine run round and grunt and play with straw,
Snatching out hasty mouthfuls from the stack.
Sudden upon the elmtree tops the crow
Unceremonious visit pays and croaks,
Then swops away. From mossy barn the owl
Bobs hasty out--wheels round and, scared as soon,
As hastily retires. The ducks grow wild
And from the muddy pond fly up and wheel
A circle round the village and soon, tired,
Plunge in the pond again. The maids in haste
Snatch from the orchard hedge the mizzled clothes
And laughing hurry in to keep them dry.
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Don Juan a Poem

‘Poets are born’ – & so are whores – the trade is   
Grown universal – in these canting days          
Women of fashion must of course be ladies     
& whoreing is the business – that still pays     
Playhouses Ball rooms – there the masquerade is  
– To do what was of old – & now adays          
Their maids – nay wives so innoscent & blooming   
Cuckold their spouses to seem honest women
Milton sung Eden & the fall of man                   
Not woman for the name implies a wh—e        
& they would make a ruin of his plan               
Falling so often they can fall no lower              
Tell me a worse delusion if you can                  
For innoscence – & I will sing no more             
Wherever mischief is tis womans brewing        
Created from manself – to be mans ruin
The flower in bud hides from the fading sun    
& keeps the hue of beauty on its cheek           
But when full blown they into riot run              
The hue turns pale & lost each ruddy streak    
So ’t’is with woman who pretends to shun      
Immodest actions which they inly seek            
Night hides the wh–e – cupboards tart & pasty      
Flora was p-x-d – & womans quite as nasty
Marriage is nothing but a driveling hoax          
To please old codgers when they’re turned of forty
I wed & left my wife like other folks                  
But not untill I found her false & faulty             
O woman fair – the man must pay thy jokes    
Such makes a husband very often naughty     
Who falls in love will seek his own undoing      
The road to marriage is – ‘the road to ruin’
Love worse then debt or drink or any fate       
It is the damnest smart of matrimony              
A hell incarnate is a woman-mate                    
The knot is tied – & then we loose the honey  
A wife is just the protetype to hate                  
Commons for stock & warrens for the coney    
Are not more trespassed over in rights plan    
Then this incumberance on the rights of man                   

There’s much said about love & more of women     
I wish they were as modest as they seem       
Some borrow husbands till their cheeks are blooming     
Not like the red rose blush – but yellow cream
Lord what a while those good days are in coming –        
Routs Masques & Balls – I wish they were a dream
– I wish for poor men luck – an honest praxis  
Cheap food & cloathing – no corn laws or taxes
I wish – but there is little got bye wishing       
I wish that bread & great coats ne’er had risen      
I wish that there was some such word as ‘pishun’  
For ryhme sake for my verses must be dizen   
With dresses fine – as hooks with bait for fishing   
I wish all honest men were out of prison         
I wish M.P’s. would spin less yarn – nor doubt 
But burn false bills & cross bad taxes out
I wish young married dames were not so frisky      
Nor hide the ring to make believe they’re single     
I wish small beer was half as good as whiskey
& married dames with buggers would not mingle    
There’s some too cunning far & some too frisky      
& here I want a ryhme – so write down ‘jingle’
& there’s such putting in – in whores crim con 
Some mouths would eat forever & eat on
Childern are fond of sucking sugar candy         
& maids of sausages – larger the better          
Shopmen are fond of good sigars & brandy     
& I of blunt – & if you change the letter           
To C or K it would be quite as handy                
& throw the next away – but I’m your debtor  
For modesty – yet wishing nought between us       
I’d hawl close to a she as vulcan did to venus
I really cant tell what this poem will be            
About – nor yet what trade I am to follow       
I thought to buy old wigs – but that will kill me
With cold starvation – as they’re beaten hollow     
Long speeches in a famine will not fill me         
& madhouse traps still take me by the collar    
So old wig bargains now must be forgotten     
The oil that dressed them fine has made them rotten               

I wish old wigs were done with ere they’re mouldy
I wish – but heres the papers large & lusty     
With speeches that full fifty times they’ve told ye   
– Noble Lord John to sweet Miss Fanny Fusty  
Is wed – a lie good reader I ne’er sold ye        
– Prince Albert goes to Germany & must he     
Leave the queens snuff box where all fools are strumming      
From addled eggs no chickens can be coming
Whigs strum state fiddle strings untill they snap     
With cuckoo cuckold cuckoo year by year         
The razor plays it on the barbers strap            
– The sissars grinder thinks it rather quere     
That labour wont afford him ‘one wee drap’     
Of ale or gin or half & half or beer                    
– I wish prince Albert & the noble dastards     
Who wed the wives – would get the noble bastards
I wish prince Albert on his german journey      
I wish the Whigs were out of office &               
Pickled in law books of some good atorney      
For ways & speeches few can understand       
They’ll bless ye when in power – in prison scorn ye
& make a man rent his own house & land –     
I wish prince Alberts queen was undefiled       
– & every man could get his wife with child
I wish the devil luck with all my heart               
As I would any other honest body                   
His bad name passes bye me like a f—t           
Stinking of brimstone – then like whisky toddy
We swallow sin which seems to warm the heart     
– There’s no imputing any sin to God – he       
Fills hell with work – & is’n’t it a hard case       
To leave old whigs & give to hell the carcass
Me–b—ne may throw his wig to little Vicky       
& so resign his humbug & his power                
& she with the young princess mount the dickey    
On ass milk diet for her german tour                
Asses like ministers are rather tricky                
I & the country proves it every hour                 
W–ll—gt–n & M–lb—n in their station               
Coblers to queens – are phisic to the nation           

These batch of toadstools on this rotten tree  
Shall be the cabinet of any queen                    
Though not such coblers as her servants be    
They’re of Gods making – that is plainly seen  
Nor red nor green nor orange – they are free  
To thrive & flourish as the Whigs have been    
But come tomorrow – like the Whigs forgotten
You’ll find them withered stinking dead & rotten
Death is an awfull thing it is by God                 
I’ve said so often & I think so now                    
Tis rather droll to see an old wig nod               
Then doze & die the devil don’t know how       
Odd things are wearisome & this is odd –        
Tis better work then kicking up a row              
I’m weary of old Whigs & old whigs heirs         
& long been sick of teazing God with prayers
I’ve never seen the cow turn to a bull              
I’ve never seen the horse become an ass       
I’ve never seen an old brawn cloathed in whool –  
But I have seen full many a bonny lass            
& wish I had one now beneath the cool           
Of these high elms – Muse tell me where I was      
O – talk of turning I’ve seen Whig & Tory         
Turn imps of hell – & all for Englands glory
I love good fellowship & wit & punning            
I love ‘true love’ & God my taste defend          
I hate most damnably all sorts of cunning –     
I love the Moor & Marsh & Ponders End –        
I do not like the song of ‘cease your funning’   
I love a modest wife & trusty friend                 
– Bricklayers want lime as I want rhyme for fillups  
– So here’s a health to sweet Eliza Phillips

LP 89 amongst other places

From 'January'

At last! We return from 10 weeks of travelling... USA... New Zealand and South Africa. But it's great to be back, even to an English January. We resume our perambulations through John Clare's work with an excerpt from 'January'.

"... unperceived, through key-holes creep,
When all around have sunk to sleep,
To feast on what the cotter leaves,--
Mice are not reckoned greater thieves.
They take away, as well as eat,
And still the housewife's eye they cheat,
In spite of all the folks that swarm
In cottage small and larger farm;
They through each key-hole pop and pop,
Like wasps into a grocer's shop,
With all the things that they can win
From chance to put their plunder in;--
As shells of walnuts, split in two
By crows, who with the kernels flew;
Or acorn-cups, by stock-doves plucked,
Or egg-shells by a cuckoo sucked;
With broad leaves of the sycamore
They clothe their stolen dainties oer:
And when in cellar they regale,
Bring hazel-nuts to hold their ale;
With bung-holes bored by squirrels well,
To get the kernel from the shell;
Or maggots a way out to win,
When all is gone that grew within;
And be the key-holes eer so high,
Rush poles a ladder's help supply.
Where soft the climbers fearless tread,
On spindles made of spiders' thread.
And foul, or fair, or dark the night,
Their wild-fire lamps are burning bright:
For which full many a daring crime
Is acted in the summer-time..." Posted by Picasa