Opening of the Pasture


Within a closes nook beneath a shed

Nigh to the stack where stock in winter fed

Where black thorn thickets crowded close behind

& shielded cows & maidens from the wind

Two maidens sat free from the pasture sloughs

& told each other as they milked their cows

Their evening thoughts of love—while over head

The little Wren from its new dwelling fled

Who neath the hovels thatch with spring-hopes blest

Began to hang & build its curious nest

Of hair & feathers & root mosses green

It watched about & pickt its feathers clean

& cocked its tail & sung its evening strain

Then fluttering ventured to its nest again

While bluecaps blest the swelling buds to see

Repeated their two notes from tree to tree

The ass untethered rambling at his ease

 Knapt the black budding twigs of ashen trees

& sheep the green grass champt with greedy bite

A certain sign of sudden showers at night

(Lines 1-20)

Poems by John Clare

Oh!  Look what I’ve come across.  The much fabled ‘Poems of John Clare’ a collection by Arthur Symons published in 1908.  With no doubt the first, and crucial, glimmerings of the revival in the reading and celebration of the great poet’s work that continues to this day.  Yet I think it’s true to say that even 114 years later we still haven’t seen all there is to be discovered, for 158  years after Clare’s death, there are still reams yet to be properly examined and published.  And, no… the book is sadly not mine.