Spring (two versions)

Welcome gentle breathing Spring
Now the birds are heard to sing
And the budding tree is seen
Putting forth her tender green
O delightful season hail
May my footsteps never fail
When time permits to visit thee
And view thy new born scenery

Welcome gentle breathing spring
Now the birds begin to sing
Now the Swelling shade is seen
Putting forth its tender green
While the Suns extended way
Sweetly shows the lengthend day
O delightful Season hail
May my footsteps never fail
When I've time to trample where
All thy beauties reappear

Child Harold (again)

The Paigles Bloom In Shower's In Grassy Close
How Sweet To Be Among Their Blossoms Led
& Hear Sweet Nature To Herself Discourse
While Pale The Moon Is Bering Over Head
& Hear The Grazeing Cattle Softly Tread
Cropping The Hedgerows Newly Leafing Thorn
Sounds Soft As Visions Murmured Oer In Bed
At Dusky Eve Or Sober Silent Morn
For Such Delights Twere Happy Man Was Born

(Lines 966-974)


I have been researching poems for the Festival in July, and have rediscovered this lovely song, part of the long series of 1841 Clare entitled "Child Harold". It dates from early in that year as the scholars tell us that at that time Clare was capitalising every word in his manuscript(s), no-one knows why. It's only title is 'Ballad'... my current favourite.

The Blackbird Has Built In The Pasture Agen
& The Thorn Oer The Pond Shows A Delicate Green
Where I Strolled With Patty Adown In The Glen
& Spent Summer Evenings & Sundays Unseen

How Sweet The Hill Brow
& The Low Of The Cow
& The Sunshine That Gilded The Bushes So Green

When Evening Brought Dews Natures Thirst To Allay
& Clouds Seemed To Nestle Round Hamlets & Farms
While In The Green Bushes We Spent The Sweet Day
& Patty, Sweet Patty, Was Still In My Arms

The Love Bloom That Redded Upon Her Sweet Lips
The Love Light That Glistened Within Her Sweet Eye
The Singing Bees There That The Wild Honey Sips
From Wild Blossoms Seemed Not So Happy As I

How Sweet Her Smile Seemed
While The Summer Sun Gleamed
& The Laugh Of The Spring Shadowed Joys From On High

While The Birds Sung About Us & Cattle Grazed Round
& Beauty Was Blooming On Hamlets & Farms
How Sweet Steamed The Inscence Of Dew From The Ground
While Patty Sweet Patty Sat Locked In My Arms

(lines 1108-1129 : Child Harold)

A Hunt for Dobin or the Force of Love

(lines 222-235)

The old deep pond where the coy morehen lyes
Where on whose side the turfy hillocks rise
Where the broad flag and fuzy bulrush grows
Curving adown to the least wind that blows
And where surrounding bushes form a shade
As wild as ever was by nature made
The oaken folliage shaken by the wind
The dark green ivy round their trunks entwind
With all the mingling many shaded greens
That decorate the woodlands mixing scenes
These are the haunts & these the scenes so wild
Which are so dear to Natures every child
To sport in wildness nature dearly loves
And all her Children of her taste approves

I love the little pond...

I love the little pond to mark at spring
When frogs & toads are croaking round its brink
When blackbirds yellow bills gin first to sing
& green woodpecker rotten trees to clink
I love to see the cattle muse & drink
& water crinkle to the rude march wind
While two ash dotterels flourish on its brink
Bearing key bunches children run to find
& water buttercups they're forced to leave behind

Somthing New

How varying is the taste of man
Still eager to pursue
That ever pleasing novelty
In meeting somthing new

In infancy the rage begins
(So tempting is the view)
Babes throw aside their once lov'd things
To sigh for somthing new

The hoop to day which boys are seen
So eager to pursue
To morrow lies a toy despis'd
Exchang'd for somthing new

Young miss's (if not catch'd in time)
—Be lovers ere so true
Grow fickle tires & turns 'em off
To seek for somthing new

Old maids whom every hope forsakes
The self same end pursue
& put their wrinkl'd mouths in form
To look for somthing new

E'en wives—but hasty muse for bear
(Tho wives shou'd have their due)
Will often harbour evil thoughts
& wish for somthing new

Lawers & doctors each in turn
One common aim pursue
When one good job is finish'd they
Look out for somthing new

Poor victim poets vainly priz'd
By the diserning few
Still ryhme in hopes o' better days
& dwell on somthing new

—Ah shatter'd coat & wanted groat
When wil't be mine to view?
Thee thrown aside? & pockets lin'd
With hopefull somthing new

—Booksellers often miss the chance
Their customers pursue
When throwing usless books about
They search for somthing new

Tho fashions change with every day
Their votaries will pursue
Come as they will or fast or slow
They cry is ‘somthing new’

So Gentlemen & ladies here
(In hopes to meet his due)
A humble clown exerts his skill
To offer somthing new

He wishes every taste to please
& hopes to find it true
So good or bad or what they will
This “Trifle’s” somthing new

When I met wi her...

When I met wi her I coud wish for my own
As fair & as blushing as blossoms full blown
Ah me I did heave a sigh
When she first met my eye
Poverty frownd she shoud not be my own

Life had a cloud that was sore to be nigh
Were hot love wi want woud get colded & dye
When I my love did meet
& saw her face so sweet
Poverty frownd wi many a sigh

Ah how I wishd the sweet maid for my own
Ah how I sighd upon troubles long known
But her sweet simple smile
Poverty did beguile
& hazard at last took the maid for my own

The Shepherd's Calendar - March

[Image: 'March' by Carry Akroyd]

March month of ‘many weathers’ wildly comes
In hail and snow and rain and threatning hums
And floods: while often at his cottage door
The shepherd stands to hear the distant roar
Loosd from the rushing mills and river locks
Wi thundering sound and over powering shocks
And headlong hurry thro the meadow brigs
Brushing the leaning willows fingering twigs
In feathery foam and eddy hurryng chase
Rolling a storm oertaken travellers pace
From bank to bank along the meadow leas
Spreading and shining like to little seas
While in the pale sunlight a watery brood
Of swopping white birds flock about the flood

(lines 1-14)