Left in the world alone

Left in the world alone
Where nothing seems my own
And everything is weariness to me

'Tis a life without an end
'Tis a world without a friend
And everything is sorrowful I see

There's the crow upon the stack
And other birds all black
While November's frowning wearily

And the black-clouds dropping rain
'Till the floods hide half the plain
And everything is weariness to me

The sun shines wan and pale
Chill blows the northern gale
And odd leaves shake and shiver on the tree

While I am left alone
Chilled as a mossy stone
And all the world is frowning over me

Song [Child Harold lines 840-863]

Clare in a bleak mood as the weather, although autumnal, seems to him hardly to mirror his realisation of his inner loss -- from Autumn 1841.

The floods come oer the meadow leas
The dykes are full & brimming
Field furrows reach the horses knees
Where wild ducks oft are swimming

The skyes are black the fields are bare
The trees their coats are loosing
The leaves are dancing in the air
The sun its warmth refusing

Brown are the flags & fadeing sedge
& tanned the meadow plains
Bright yellow is the osier hedge
Beside the brimming drains

The crows sit on the willow tree
The lake is full below
But still the dullest thing I see
Is self that wanders slow

The dullest scenes are not so dull
As thoughts I cannot tell
The brimming dykes are not so full
As my hearts silent swell

I leave my troubles to the winds
With none to share a part
The only joy my feeling finds
Hides in an aching heart

Written in November

Autumn I love thy latter end to view
In cold novembers day so bleak & bare
When like lifes dwindld thread worn nearly thro
Wi lingering pottering pace & head bleachd bare
Thou like an old man bids the world adieu
I love thee well & often when a child
Have roamd the bare brown heath a flower to find
& in the moss clad vale & wood bank wild
Have cropt the little bell flowers paley blue
That trembling peept the sheltering bush behind
When winnowing north winds cold & blealy blew
How have I joyd wi dithering hands to find
Each fading flower & still how sweet the blast
Woud bleak novembers hour Restore the joy thats past

Kitty's Song

If Kitty’s rosy presence now
Should chance to bless my sight
Again the oft repeated vow
She'd witness with delight
Again the church again the spire
Would prom’t her bosom with desire
But O sweet kitt spurn not delay
Time will bring the promis'd day.’

Thus sung the poor enamoured swain
As labouring along
Echo vibrating catch’d the strain
And brought him back the song
Again the rocks again the plains
In mellower sound repeat the strains
Till all in chorus roundelay
Join and sing the ‘promisd day.’

[The latest of Clare's songs that we have set to music]

The Secret

I loved thee, though I told thee not,
Right earlily and long,
Thou wert my joy in every spot,
My theme in every song.

And when I saw a stranger face
Where beauty held the claim,
I gave it like a secret grace
The being of thy name.

And all the charms of face or voice
Which I in others see
Are but the recollected choice
Of what I felt for thee.

Song: I saw her in my Spring's young choice

I saw her in my Spring's young choice
Ere loves hopes looked upon the crowd
Ere loves first secrets found a voice
Or dared to speak the name aloud

I saw her in my boyish hours
A Girl as fair as heaven above
When all the world seemed strewn with flowers
& every pulse & look was love

I saw her when her heart was young
I saw her when my heart was true
When truth was all the themes I sung
& Love the only muse I knew

Ere infancy had left her brow
I seemed to love her from her birth
& thought her then as I do now
The dearest angel upon earth

[from Child Harold]

My Love's like a lily...

[Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925]

My love’s like a lily my loves like a rose
My love’s like a smile the spring morning’s disclose
And sweet as the rose on her cheek—her love glows
When sweetly she smileth on me
& as cold as the snow of the lily—my rose
Behaves to pretenders who ever they be
In vain higher stations their passions disclose
To win her affections from me

My love’s like the lily my love’s like the rose
My love’s like the smile the spring morning’s disclose
& fine as the lily & sweet as the rose
My loves beauty bloometh to me
& smiles of more pleasure my heart only knows
To think that pretenders who ever they be
But vainly their love & their passions disclose
My love remains constant to me

[One of Clare’s songs recent set to music and submitted for a possible forthcoming Clare CD project]

Earth's Eternity

Man, Earth's poor shadow! talks of Earth's decay:
But hath it nothing of eternal kin?
No majesty that shall not pass away?
No soul of greatness springing up within?
Thought-marks without? hoar shadows of sublime?
Pictures of power, which if not doomed to win
Eternity, stand laughing at old Time
For ages, in the grand ancestral line
Of things eternal, mounting to divine?—
I read Magnificence where ages pay
Worship, like conquered foes to the Apennine,
Because they could not conquer. There sits Day,
Too high for Night to come at — mountains shine,
Outpeering Time, too lofty for Decay.