Three Springs

[Image:  Glinton Church and graveyard]

For some while Clare found the reports of Mary Joyce's hard to believe, but then in late 1841 he wrote this... 


O Mary dear, three Springs have been

Three Summers too have blossomed here

Three blasting Winters crept between

Though absence is the most severe

Another Summer blooms in green

But Mary never once was seen

I've sought her in the fields & flowers

I've sought her in the forest groves

In avenues & shaded bowers

& every scene that Mary loves

E'en round her home I seek her here

But Mary’s absent every-where

‘Tis autumn & the rustling corn

Goes loaded on the creaking wain

I seek her in the early morn

But cannot meet her face again

Sweet Mary she is absent still

& much I fear she ever will

She died three years before, the day after Clare's birthday.

The Dream (excerpt)

Clare in a dark, dark mood...

Red lightning shot its flashes as they came

& passing clouds seemed kindling into flame 

& strong & stronger came the sulphury smell

With demons following in the breath of hell 

Laughing in mockery as the doomed complained 

Losing their pains in seeing others pained 

Fierce raged destruction sweeping oer the land 

& the last counted moment seemed at hand 

As scales near equal hang the earnest eyes 

In doubtful balance which shall fall or rise

So in the moment of that crashing blast 

Eyes hearts & hopes paused trembling for the last 

Loud burst the thunders clap & yawning rents 

Gashed the frail garments of the elements 

Then sudden whirlwinds winged with purple flame 

& lightnings flash in stronger terrors came 

Burning all life & nature where they fell 

& leaving earth as desolate as hell 

(lines 43-60)