From 'Remembrances'

Summer pleasures they are gone like to visions every one
& the cloudy days of autumn & of winter cometh on
I tried to call them back but unbidden they are gone
Far away from heart & eye & for ever far away
Dear heart & can it be that such raptures meet decay
I thought them all eternal when by Langley bush I lay
I thought them joys eternal when I used to shout & play
On its bank at “clink & bandy” “chock” & “taw” & ducking stone
Where silence sitteth now on the wild heath as her own
Like a ruin of the past all alone

MP IV 130

The dark days of Autumn

The dark days of Autumn grows cloudy and rainy
The sun pales like sulphur the shadows grow long
To me the dull season the sweetest of any
I love to see yellow leaves fall in my song
The rush covered green and thistle capped mountain
The dead leaves a falling and winds singing round
The willow and ash leaves they choak up the fountain
There's health i' the strife o't and joy i' the sound
I love there to loiter wi' winds blowing round me
Till the strong eddies past and the rain gust is over
Wild pigeons fly over the instance looks downy
With [stunt] willow rows [and] pieces of clover
Brown pieces o' stubbles ground o' turnips bright green
The crows flying over the lakes silver light
Scarce a wild blossom left to enliven the scene
Rauk and mist are for ever in sight

LP II 811

How many times spring blossoms meek

How many times Spring blossoms meek
Have faded on the land
Since last I kissed that pretty cheek,
Caressed that happy hand.
Eight time the green's been painted white
With daisies in the grass
Since I looked on thy eyes so bright,
And pressed my bonny lass.

The ground lark sung about the farms,
The blackbird in the wood,
When fast locked in each other's arms
By hedgerow thorn we stood.
It was a pleasant Sabbath day,
The sun shone bright and round,
His light through dark oaks passed, and lay
Like gold upon the ground.

How beautiful the blackbird sung,
And answered soft the thrush;
And sweet the pearl-like dew-drops hung
Upon the white thorn bush.
O happy day, eight years ago!
We parted without pain:
The blackbird sings, primroses blow;
When shall we meet again?
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Working with Professor Eric for a few days, I am very struck by an essay of Clare's on 'Nothing'.  Too long to be laboriously typed here (via my iPad), I thought an excerpt would very much interest readers of this weblog.

"... the poor man would feel the greatest happiness upon earth if he had only experience to prove that he alone is in the possesion of liberty   & consequently of happiness     for the only way to endanger liberty is to become fortunate   & the surest way to loose it   the possesion of power

          thus   nothing   becomes valuable & he who considers & feels thus may be said to posses the philosophers stone & make a fortune of nothing -- A philosopher consoled him self for the loss of his money in the following reflection

          In loosing my money I have nothing to care for     When I was rich I was afraid of every poor man    but now I am poor   every rich man is afraid of me

Pet MS A43 p13-15


To mark autumn, a poem from Clare's wonderful collection "Poems descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery" (1820)

Now Autumn's come—adieu the pleasing greens
The charming Lanscape & the flowrey plain
All are deserted from these motley scenes
With blighted yellow ting'd & russet stain
Tho desolation seems to triumph here
Yet these are spring to what we still shall find
The trees must all in nakedness appear
'Reft of their foliage by the blustry wind
Just so 'twill fare with me in Autumns life
Just so I'd wish—but may the trunk & all
Die with the leaves—nor taste that wintry strife
Where Sorrows urge—& fear Impedes the fall!