Blog Views - read and try this today (!)

As regular readers of this Blog will know, the blog software is called Blogger. I have just discovered that Blogger offers five different views for its blogs:


These views require modern browsers such as Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 3.5+, Chrome or Safari. Many elements of these views will not work should you have an older browser.

In all views, search is available in the upper right hand corner, and is really worth a look.

Go on... give it a go. Just click on one of the URLs above and have fun!

Some Account of my Kin, my Tallents & Myself (I of II)

[Clare by William Hilton - 1820]

Ryhme is a gift as our folks here suppose
Nor wealth nor learning ever makes a poet
Tis natures blessing so the story goes
& my condition goes the way to show it
Tho up to Bible classes I was taught
My school account is hardly worth the telling
I staid no time to master as I ought
A hardish chapter in it without spelling

A timber merchant father was—that is
A maker & a seller out of matches
This honest truth somes very apt to quiz
That can do nothing but such meddling catches
These I woud ask is the prime strops of Packwood
A pin the worse cause he has humbler been
Then why—but hold—I quake at Mr B[lackwood]
Hell rap my knuckles in his magazine

Things may (as gran observes of Turners Blacking)
Be very good & very worthy praise
But theres such puffing & such swindling quacking
That merits next to nothing now adays
Some praise themselves some by their friends are stuck
As highs our weathercock upon the steeple
While all beside are trampld in the muck
I humbly hope youre no such kind of people

Truth waits times touchstone as the just attacker
To burst the bubble & to put to rout
Each pompous sounding literary cracker—
Mine lives as long as many Ive no doubt
I will but print them as I hinted at
Deceit may be decieved its no great matter
Big as a frog I almost burst with that
She puffs me up but she is apt to flatter

From "Childhood"

When twelve o'clock was counted out,
The joy and strife began,
The shut of books, the hearty shout,
As out of doors we ran.

Sunshine and showers who could withstand?
Our food and rapture they;
We took our dinners in our hands
To lose no time in play.

The morn when first we went to school—
Who can forget the morn
When the birch whip lay upon the clock
And our horn-book it was torn?

We tore the little pictures out,
Less fond of books than play,
And only took one letter home
And that the letter ‘A.’

I love in childhood's little book
To read its lessons through,
And o'er each pictured page to look
Because they read so true.

From "The Poets Wish"

With all my friends encircled round
In golden letters, richly bound

While one snug room not over small
Containd my ness[ess]ary all
& night & day left me secure
'Mong books my chiefest furniture
With littering papers many a bit
Scrawld by the muse in fancied fit—
& curse upon that routing jade
My territorys to invade
That found me out in evil hour
To brush & clean & scrub & scour
& with a dreaded brush & broom
Disturbd my learned lumber room
Such Busy things I hate to see
Such troublers neer should trouble me
Let dust keep gathering on the ground
& roaping cobwebs dangle round

Oh Come to my Arms

O' come to my arms i' the cool o' the day
When the veil o' the evening falls dewy and grey
O' come to me under the awthorn green
When eventide falls i' the bushes serene
O come to me under the awthorn tree
When the lark's on his nest and gone bed is the bee
When the veil of the evening falls dark on the scene
And we'll kiss love and court i' the bushes so green

O come to me dear wi' thy own Maiden head
Where the wild flowers and rushes shall make thee a bed
We will lye down together in each others arms
Where the white Moth flirts by not give us alarms
Where the rush bushes bend and are silvered wi' dew
Ere the sunbeam the red cloud O' morning breaks through
Thy face is so sweet and thy neck is so fair
O' come at eve dearest and live with me there

Sighing for Retirement

O take me from the busy crowd,
I cannot bear the noise!
For Nature's voice is never loud;
I seek for quiet joys.
The book I love is everywhere,
And not in idle words;
The book I love is known to all,
And better lore affords.

The book I love is everywhere,
And every place the same;
God bade me make my dwelling there,
And look for better fame.
I never feared the critic's pen,
To live by my renown;
I found the poems in the fields,
And only wrote them down.


The BBC Report on the Clare Cottage

Click on the title above to see the BBC Look East report from 2009. OK, I know that I am 18 months late with the posting, but no-one told me the BBC had produced this news item at the time. It's worth seeing...

Idle Fame

I would not wish the burning blaze
Of fame around a restless world,
The thunder and the storm of praise
In crowded tumults heard and hurled.
I would not be a flower to stand
The stare of every passer-bye;
But in some nook of fairyland,
Seen in the praise of beauty's eye.

--- oOo ---

20, Stratford Place, March 21st, 1828.

My Dear Patty,

I have been so long silent that I feel ashamed of it, but I have been so much engaged that I really have not had time to write; and the occasion of my writing now is only to tell you that I shall be at home next week for certain. I am anxious to see you and the children and I sincerely hope you are all well. I have bought the dear little creatures four books, and Henry Behnes has promised to send Frederick a wagon and horses as a box of music is not to be had. The books I have bought them are "Puss-in-Boots," "Cinderella," "Little Rhymes," and "The Old Woman and Pig"; tell them that the pictures are all coloured, and they must make up their minds to chuse which they like best ere I come home. Mrs. Emmerson desires to be kindly remembered to you, and intends sending the children some toys. I hope next Wednesday night at furthest will see me in my old corner once again amongst you. I have made up my mind to buy Baxter "The History of Greece," which I hope will suit him.

I have been poorly, having caught cold, and have been to Dr. Darling. I would have sent you some money which I know you want, but as I am coming home so soon I thought it much safer to bring it home myself than send it; and as this is only to let you know that I am coming home, I shall not write further than hoping you are all well -- kiss the dear children for me all round -- give my remembrances to all -- and believe me, my dear Patty,

Yours most affectionately,

John Clare

During this stay in London, Clare had had proofs that his poems were not completely overlooked. Strangers, recognizing him from the portrait in the "Village Minstrel," often addressed him in the street. In this way he first met Alaric A. Watts, and Henry Behnes, the sculptor, who induced Clare to sit to him. The result was a strong, intensely faithful bust (preserved now in the Northampton Free Library). Hilton, who had painted Clare in water-colours and in oils, celebrated with Behnes and Clare the modelling of this bust…

(from ‘Poems Chiefly From Manuscript’
Edited by Edmund Blunden and Alan Porter.
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1921


[Image: The Shepherd’s Calendar (March) – Carry Akroyd]

And oft the shepherd in his path will spye
The little daisey in the wet grass lye
That to the peeping sun enlivens gay
Like Labour smiling on an holiday
And where the stunt bank fronts the southern sky
By lanes or brooks where sunbeams love to lye
A cowslip peep will open faintly coy
Soon seen and gatherd by a wandering boy
A tale of spring around the distant haze
Seems muttering pleasures wi the lengthning days
Morn wakens mottld oft wi may day stains
And shower drops hang the grassy sprouting plains
And on the naked thorns of brassy hue
Drip glistning like a summer dream of dew
While from the hill side freshning forest drops
As one might walk upon their thickening tops
And buds wi young hopes promise seemly swells
Where woodman that in wild seclusion dwells

John Clare – The Shepherd’s Calendar (March - excerpt)

Heath Field is caught tight now in a taut net of straight fences and new-planted hedgerows. She climbed over one fence after another. She pushed between the quick-thorn bushes and the thorns tugged at her cloak, A fox barked in Royce's Wood. She quickened her step. The wind sang among the branches of the willows along the dyke edge. She jumped the stream, holding up her skirts. She strode with a purpose. The moon came and went behind the scudding clouds and she seemed to walk through the darkness with a possessed assurance. She did not stumble. There was a shepherd's lambing wagon at the lower end of Heath Field. She gave it a wide berth. When she came to Torpel Way she followed it westward to Maxham's Green Lane, drawing her cloak about herself.

It was only as she passed the piles of fencing slats at the edge of Snow Common that her pace slowed and for the first time she caught her foot on the rough tussocks of the common.

Hugh Lupton – The Ballad of John Clare (Chapter 15 – Shrove Tuesday)