Dancing oak trees round & round

[Image: Anne Lee]

The wood is sweet - I love it well
In spending there my leisure hours
To seek the snail its painted shell
& look about for curious flowers
Or neath the hazels leafy thatch
On a stulp or mossy ground
Little squirrels gambols watch
Dancing oak trees round & round

Green was the shade - I love the woods
When autumns wind is mourning loud
To see the leaves float on the floods
Dead within their yellow shroud
The wood was then in glory spread -
I love the browning bough to see
That litters autumns dying bed -
Her latest sigh is dear to me

Neath a spreading shady oak
For awhile to muse I lay
From its grains a bough I broke
To fan the teasing flies away
Then I sought the woodland side
Cool the breeze my face did meet
& the shade the sun did hide
Though twas hot it seemed sweet

Leonard Clark (ed)
John Clare (Longman's Poetry Library, 1969)

Glenn Eric Clare Rose (RIP)

My dear friend Glenn Rose, a member of the John Clare Society and a direct descendant of Clare, died at 5:30am on the 29th June, after 6 months in hospital in Newcastle - much of that time in the Intensive Care Unit. I spent 20 minutes speaking on the phone to Dorothy and Eric, Glenn's parents - now both in their mid-90s.  Dorothy is the grand-daughter of Clare's grand-daughter.
I had not heard from him since last December when he wrote to me after the death of my mother in November.
Glenn was a stalwart member of the Clare Society, and my highlight of the Festival in July each year was meeting him and Dorothy; we also served together for some years on the Management Committee of the Society.

The photos show him with his two grand-sons, and our commisserations must go to Ayla his daughter on her great loss.

Dorothy asked me to remember him in the final two lines of Clare's 'I am': 

"Untroubling & untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky"