Lane path

simple nature how I do delight

To pause upon thy trifles—foolish things
So some woud call em—on the summer night
Tracing the lane path where the dog rose hings
Wi dew drops seathd while chickering cricket sings
My eye cant help but glance upon its leaves
Where loves warm beauty steals her sweetest blush
When sweet the while the even silence heaves
Her pausing breath just trembling thro the bush

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Mossy ground

The hedgerow bank where oft in searching ken

We both have crawl'd along the mossy ground

To hunt the snailhorn in his secret den

The thymy seated hill the hoof plod ground

Whose batterd surface ownd the marble ring

The straggling bush where many a nest was found

The shelterd hovel & the bathing spring

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Fetch the horses

& first of all a jobs laid out for Hodge
Boy fetch the horses but before yah go
Make haste I charge yah—now tis fine yah know
Them shocks want carreying—& that tedded hay
Some how or other must be made to day
Then boy make hast & let us see from this
How fast yah can go’ Hodge he answer'd ‘Yes’
But wisper'd to him self contrary
Not a Mite faster then I us'd to go

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Rivers wider floods

The landscapes stretching view that opens wide 
With dribbling brooks & rivers wider floods 
& hills & vales & darksome lowering woods 
With grains of varied hues & grasses pied 
The low brown cottage in the shelterd nook 
The steeple sprouting just above the trees 
Whose dangling leaves keep rustling in the breeze

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The oaks & open sky

Thro flowers & grass & many crippled brake 
Then garden clumps as nature wills to make 
Where oft he stands & pauses & admires 
& feels that happiness that never tires 
Now marking little tiny creeping things 
Creep on the leaves & then the coloured wings 
Of startled moth & eager butter flye 
That puzzled in the leaves & by & bye 
Mounts in the oaks & then the open sky

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Wizzing over head

The stirt'ling pewets as they pass

Scream joyous wizzing over head

Right glad the fields & meadow grass

Will quickly hide their carless shed

The rooks were yonder witchens spread

Quawk clamourous to the springs approach

Here silent from its watery bed

To hail its coming leaps the roach

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Quiet hanging blooms

Ive left my own old home of homes

Green fields & every pleasant place
The summer like a stranger comes
I pause & hardly know her face
I miss the hazels happy green
The bluebells quiet hanging blooms
Where envys sneer was never seen
Where staring malice never comes

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Their greenery

A little lane the brook runs close beside

& spangles in the sunshine while the fish glide swiftly by
& hedges leafing with the green spring tide
From out their greenery the old birds fly
& chirp & whistle in the morning sun
The pilewort glitters neath the pale blue sky
The little robin has its nest begun
& grass green linnets round the bushes fly

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While cows

Dames from milking trotting home
Said no sign was half so bad
& shakd their heads at ills to come
While cows restless from the ground
Plungd into the stream & drank
& the rings went wirling round
Till they toucht the flaggy bank

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A secret shade

Hot was the noon in summers sultry hour
The sun then raging with meridian power
When I more burning with the scorching heat
Of hot desire - lay hid in close retreat
Beneath the covert of a secret shade
Flush'd "with expectance of the lovley maid"
Sweet was the spot no one throughout the grove
Was better suited to the sports of Love

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Balm & Breezes

Now Come The Balm & Breezes Of The Spring
Not With The Pleasure's Of My Early Day's
When Nature Seemed One Endless Song To Sing
A Joyous Melody & Happy Praise
Ah Would They Come Agen—But Life Betrays
Quicksands & Gulphs & Storms That Howl & Sting
All Quiet Into Madness & Delays
Care Hides The Sunshine With Its Raven Wing
& Hell Glooms Sadness Oer The Songs Of Spring

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Like stars

Sweet solitude, what joy to be alone--

In wild, wood-shady dell to stay for hours.
Twould soften hearts if they were hard as stone
To see glad butterflies and smiling flowers.
Tis pleasant in these quiet lonely places,
Where not the voice of man our pleasure mars,
To see the little bees with coal black faces
Gathering sweets from little flowers like stars

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Shining eggs

How true she warped the moss, to form a nest

And modelled it within with wood and clay
And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew
There lay her shining eggs, as bright as flowers
Ink-spotted-over shells of greeny blue
And there I witnessed in the sunny hours
A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly
Glad as that sunshine and the laughing sky

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Merry Moods

The frog half fearful jumps across the path

& little mouse that leaves its hole at eve
Nimbles with timid dread beneath the swath
My rustling steps awhile their joys deceive
Till past & then the cricket sings more strong
& grasshoppers in merry moods still wear
The short night weary with their fretting song
Up from behind the molehill jumps the hare

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Gilt wi dew

Thines the dandelion-flowers

Gilt wi dew like suns wi showers
Hare bells thine & bugles blue
& cuckoo flowers all sweet to view
Thy wild woad on each road we see
& medicinal betony
By thy wood side railing reeves
Wi antique mullins flannel leaves
These tho mean the flowers of wastes
Planted here in natures haste

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The wild journey

He hears the wild geese gabble oer his head
& pleasd wi fancys in his musings bred
He marks the figurd forms in which they flye
& pausing follows wi a wondering eye
Likening their curious march in curves or rows
To every letter which his memory knows
While far above the solitary crane
Swings lonly to unfrozen dykes again
Cranking a jarring mellancholy cry
Thro the wild journey of the cheerless sky

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Wildest dress

Spirit of the woods awake
In thy wildest dress appear
Trace with me the curdled brake
Sound thy wildness in my ear
Genius of the woods that dwells
Sweeping boughs & grains among
As I climb thy rough rude dells
Breath thy roughness in my song

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The book I love

A photo I took in the archive in November 2012... and this of another unpublished Clare manuscript.  It is an honour to be able to go and study these texts -- and seek to decipher Clare's handwriting!

The book I love is everywhere,
And every place the same;
God bade me make my dwelling there,
And look for better fame.
I never feared the critic's pen,
To live by my renown;
I found the poems in the fields,
And only wrote them down.

(from "Sighing for Retirement)
(lines 9 to 16)

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Smoothing green

On that side view the meads their smoothing green
Edg'd with the peeping hamlets checkering brown
Here the steep hill as dripping headlong down
While glides the stream a silver streak between
As glides the shaded clouds along the sky
Brightning & deep'ning loosing as they're seen
In light & shade—so when old willows lean
Thus their broad shadow—runs the river bye
With tree & bush repleat a wilderd scene
& mossd & Ivyd sparkling on my eye—
O thus wild musing am I doubly blest
My woes unheeding—& my heart at rest

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The winding footpath

Wereover many a stile neeth willows grey
The winding footpath leaves the public way
Free from the dusty din & ceasless chime
Of bustling waggons in the summer time
Crossing a brook—were braving storms in vain
Two willows fell & still for brigs remain
Corn field & clover closes leading down
In peacful windings to the neighbouring town

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The droning bee

The droning bee has wakened up
& humming round the buttercup
& round the bright star daisy hums
O'er every blade of grass he passes
The dewdrop shines like looking glasses
In every drop a bright sun comes
'Tis march & spring bright days we see
Round every blossom hums the bee

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The Early Daisy

With all the pleasant things
That come with spring
What time the mavis builds & sings
            I love the daisy well
Ere hedges throw a sprout
Of greenness out
They peep and shine about

& care not where they dwell

Beside the garden pales
Their silver bloom prevails
& glads the childrens tales

While sitting there at play
In the grass they come & crowd
Wherever weeds allowed
A footing they are proud

In glad springs early day

Sallows that by the little pond recline
& sweetly shine
In tasselled gold seem not so sweet as thine

Low blooming at their foot

Ive thought so when a boy
In plays employ
Racing the lambs in joy

& resting at its root


The blackthorns like a sheet
& faintly sweet
Pale March in hedges meet

Like snows in bloom
But daisies came before
On green and moor
& ere snowstorms were oer

I saw them come

The mind will dream and cling
To pleasant things
That come again with spring

As when health used to go
Down little paths & spy
Cowslips so nigh
That as we wandered by

Would pat agen the shoe

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Breathing Spring

Welcome gentle breathing Spring

Now the birds are heard to sing
And the budding tree is seen
Putting forth her tender green
O delightful season hail
May my footsteps never fail
When time permits to visit thee
And view thy new born scenery

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Wherever I be

How could I how should I — that loved her so early

Forget when I've sung of her beauty in song
How could I forget what I've worshiped so dearly
From boyhood to manhood and all my life long
As leaves to the branches in summer comes daily
& blossoms will bloom on the stalk & the tree
To her beauty I'll cling & i'll love her as truly
& think of sweet Mary wherever I be

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Full & brimming

The floods come o’er the meadow leas
The dykes are full & brimming
Field furrows reach the horses knees
Where wild ducks oft are swimming
The skies are black the fields are bare
The trees their coats are loosing
The leaves are dancing in the air
The sun its warmth refusing

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Living luscious tinting

The rich brown-umber hue the oaks unfold 
When springs young sunshine bathes their trunks in gold 
So rich so beautiful so past the power 
Of words to paint—my heart aches for the dower 
The pencil gives to soften & infuse 
This brown luxuriance of unfolding hues 
This living luscious tinting woodlands give 
Into a landscape that might breath & live

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Wind the lane

How sweet to wind the lane confined as now
In a lovd prison of oer hanging boughs
As loosd & wirls each turning round & round
Some new variety keeps d[r]op[p]ing in
Fresh flowr or scene speckt cot or steeples point
Just sprouting oer the horizon still changing sweet
[Flowering] lovley & for ever new
As on proceeding to the lanes last end
[Pastor[a]lls] gently on a hill whose rise commands
A bursting view apprising on the eye

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Heaven unfolding

The scene it was cheery when I met my deary
In evens cool mantle of dew
T’was heaven unfolding in sunset so golden
But ah it was sweeter far sweeter beholding
Fond love at its first interview

O fond loves excesses the heart how it blesses
Wi the jem of our raptures in view
We fancy none fairer we fancy none dearer
There may be as true but we think none sincerer
Loves sketches are perfectly drew

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Fire streak burning

O now the crimson east its fire streak burning
Tempts me to wander neath the blushing morn
Winding the zig zag lane turning & turning
As winds the crooked fences wilderd thorn
O wheres the eye can gaze upon the dawn

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Wi hobbling strides

While the cows wi hobbling strides
Switching slow their flye bit hides
Rubs the pastures creaking gate
Milking maids & boys to wait
As the sunshine leaves the skye
As the day light shuts her eye
O wi thee to meet the breeze
Neath the shade of awthorn trees

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Ten weeks of frost

Oh, far is fled the winter wind,

And far is fled the frost and snow,
But the cold scorn on my love's brow
Hath never yet prepared to go.

More lasting than ten winters' wind,
More cutting than ten weeks of frost,
Is the chill frowning of thy mind,
Where my poor heart was pledged and lost.

I see thee taunting down the street,
And by the frowning that I see
I might have known it long ere now,
Thy love was never meant for me.

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Lingering by the streams

Wether curious waste an hour
Pausing oer each tasty flower
Or expounding natures spells
From the silt pick out the shells
Or as lingering by the streams
Where more sweet the music seems
Listen to the softning swells
Of some distant chiming bells
Mellowing sweetly on the breeze
Raising falling by degrees

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I’m in durance

My mother's aye jealous of loving,
My father's aye jealous of play,
So what with them both there's no moving,
I'm in durance for life and a day.
O who shall I get for to marry me?
Who will have pity to woo?
Tis death any longer to tarry me,
And what shall a poor maiden do?

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