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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image of Cranes by my friend #CarryAkroyd

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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 and this of another unpublished Clare manuscript.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)

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my gifted friend #CarryAkroyd

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my friend #CarryAkroyd

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my friend #TonyGale

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my friend #RachelBurch

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment
Image by my friend #CarryAkroyd

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my friend #JohnAbbott

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.

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

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

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment
Image by my friend #RachelBurch

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?

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my friend #AnnieLee

The Wren


Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 

#photography #poetry #environment

By her ain gate

The winter stays till e'en & the spring it canna cum

& every cannie bud is nipt up before the bloom
The winter winna gae & it stays a day oer lang
Sae the flowers they canna blossom & the birdies get nae Sang
The young & cannie maiden canna gang by her ain gate
But brazen ruffian winter mun teaze her suin & late
Her gown to shun the dirt oft leaves her ancle bare
For her gown it is the best & her ony sabbath ware

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Green domains

Give me the leisure of a summers day

With one old friend to loiter it away
Were level meadows stretch their green domains
Alive with joys of laughing maids & swains
Some making hay beside our pleasant paths
& mowers sweeping with their even swaths
Discoursing onward with our lines & hooks
With some refreshments nor without some books

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Weeds along the fen

O for the pasture fields & fen
When shall I see such rest agen
I love the weeds along the fen
More sweet then garden flowers
Freedom haunts the humble glen
That blest my happiest hours
Here prisons injure health & me
I love sweet freedom & the free

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Nibbl’d by the sheep

Short shrubby bushes nibbl'd by the sheep

That alway on these shortsward pastures keep
Now lost now shines now bending with the wind
& now the swarthy sybil kneels reclin'd
With proggling stick she still renews the blaze
Forcing bright sparks to twinkle from the flaze
When this I view the all attentive mind
Will oft exclaim (so strong the scene prevades)
‘Grant me this life, thou spirit of the shades!’

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Roams the woodlands

& then he roams the woodlands 
As happy as a moth on summers nights 
Now pausing thro the brambles prickly twine 
Where midnight lingers in the leafy mine 
& now thro smooth barked hazels mellow green 
That leave a pleasant open spot between 
Thro flowers & grass & many crippled brake 
Then garden clumps as nature wills to make

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Tamed cattle

Last on the road the cowboy careless swings

Leading tamed cattle in their tending strings
With shining tin to keep his dinner warm
Swung at his back or tucked beneath his arm
Whose sun-burnt skin & cheeks chuffed out with fat
Are dyed as rusty as his napless hat
& others driving loose their herds at will
Are now heard whooping up the pasture-hill

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

Image by my friend #JohnAbbott

A novel shew

How chill the soft air meets ones face & yet 
The winds so weak as een the ryhme flake light 
On every twig like feathers closly set 
Clings unmolestedly from morn till night 
A novel shew for those who love to range 
In noveltys of nature—hoary scene 
To turn to summer now how odd a change 
Woods white as is the clouds that once were green

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment

As silent & as calm

Wild winds no longer rustle in the wood
The hasty rains cease bubbling on the flood
Like the noon day as silent & as calm
While scenes refresh'd present a sweeter charm
Each pearly drop Flowers burthen'd sweets renew
The clouds divide—the sky is cloth'd in blue
Oer the green hills the slopeing sun declines
Dash'd in the soil the hasty shower combines

Follow me for daily #JohnClare postings. 
#photography #poetry #environment