Graves of Infants

Infants' gravemounds are steps of angels, where
Earth's brightest gems of innocence repose.
God is their parent, so they need no tear;
He takes them to his bosom from earth's woes,
A bud their lifetime and a flower their close.
Their spirits are the Iris of the skies,
Needing no prayers; a sunset's happy close.
Gone are the bright rays of their soft blue eyes;
Flowers weep in dew-drops o'er them, and the gale gently sighs.

Their lives were nothing but a sunny shower,
Melting on flowers as tears melt from the eye.
Each death
Was tolled on flowers as Summer gales went by.
They bowed and trembled, yet they heaved no sigh,
And the sun smiled to show the end was well.
Infants have nought to weep for ere they die;
All prayers are needless, beads they need not tell,
White flowers their mourners are, Nature their passing bell.

from Child Harold

I rest my wearied life in these sweet fields
Reflecting every smile in natures face
& much of joy this grass — These hedges yields
Not found in citys where crowds daily trace
Heart pleasures there hath no abideing place
The star gemmed early morn the silent even
Hath pleasures that our broken hopes deface
To love too well leaves nought to be forgiven
The Gates of Eden is the bounds of heaven

(lines 1222 to 1230)

A Special... First Love (click here)

... with thanks to the BBC Learning Zone.

The winter time is over love

The winter time is over love
White thorns begin to bud
& brown & green of freshness love
Enlivens all the wood

Theres white clouds got agen the sun
One daisey open on the green
The primrose shows its sulphur bud
Just where the hazel stulps are seen

& ere the april time is out
Along the ridings gravel walk
The bedlam primrose blooms about
Wi' twenty blossoms on a stalk

How happy seems the drop of dew
That nestles in the daiseys eye
How blest the cloud seems in the blue
That near the sun appears to lie

How happy does thy shadows seem
That stretches oer the morning grass
They seeims to walk as in a dream
I know their shadows as they pass

The primrose over withered leaves
Now beautifully shines

Ballad (from Child Harold)

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


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

The infant April joins the spring
And views its watery skye
As youngling linnet trys its wing
And fears at first to flye
With timid step she ventures on
And hardly dares to smile
The blossoms open one by one
And sunny hours beguile
But finer days approacheth yet
With scenes more sweet to charm
And suns arive that rise and set
Bright strangers to a storm
And as the birds with louder song
Each mornings glory cheers
With bolder step she speeds along
And looses all her fears

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

The village band crossed the street and made its way slowly among the hobbling pilgrims, along Church Lane towards Eastwell Spring.

As they drew close they could see that the elms and willows, that last year had made a green and shady grove around the spring, had been dragged to the saw-mill. It is a scarred and barren slope that now leads down to the little pool. The crowds were lining up to fill their leather bottles and jugs. Charlie Turner stood white and shivering, waist deep in water, pulling his ragged half-wit daughter Isabel towards him while she wailed like a lost soul. Mrs Bullimore had set her jug upon a wooden table. Children were jostling around it with farthings in their fists, eager for a cup of sugared water.

Hugh Lupton – The Ballad of John Clare (Chapter 16)

My sundays harmless pleasures were forsook
Nor turnd my rambles to the pasture brook
Were in my youth at ‘Eastwells’ fountain side
Which winters never froze nor summer dryd
Young men & maidens usd to talk & play
n the cool shadows of its willows grey
Drinking loves healths in totts of sugard drink
On the soft swellings of its rushy brink
From the spring head like winter cold & chill
Were boils the white sand that is never still
Now swimming up in silver threads & then
Slow siling down to bubble up agen
There shepherds usd to sit & tell the while
Their tales & jokes to win each maidens smile

(From, “The Memory of Love”, lines 353-366)

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

[Scriven's 1821 engraving]

Still tho my genius cant be reckond rich
That its origional youll all agree
& tho my pen is often on the itch
Ive kept as yet from thieving pretty free
To tell the truth Ive hardly stole from any
Save some few things from worthey mother Bunch
A joke from Miller (praisd as mine by many)
For an old pedlar once who acted punch

If you like this Ill tell you tales by dozens
Which youll find pretty or I miss my aim
To strengthen this I might bring in my cousins
Who swear Im hastning up the hill to fame
But of friends praise I cant say Im a lover
For they like all are very prone to puff
Oft magazines laud books upon the cover
That prove when read most disagreeable stuff

So here Ill leave this sample to its fate
Send me the ‘London’ if you take the hint
Twill get you half a crown at any rate
For Ill give that to see my name in print
& be as't will Ill wait & hope the better
Gran poor old creature will be all delight—
& as Aunt Prissey often ends a letter
When getting late—I wish you all good night

June 14, 1821 past 10 o'clock