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The poems in this collection are divided into three parts Early poems, Middle Poems and Asylum poems. Clare's descriptions of rural scenes show an ardent appreciation of nature and his fascination with creative process. His work recaptures the ideas of the Romantic poets, though he adds unique touch of his own.
out-sobbing songs - the happiest part Of summer’s fame she shared - for so to me Did happy fancies shapen her employ But if I touched a bush or scarcely stirred All in a moment stopt - I watched in vain The timid bird had left the hazel bush And at a distance hid to sing again Lost in a wilderness of listening leaves Rich extacy would pour its luscious strain Till envy spurred the emulating thrush To start less wild and scarce inferior songs For cares with him for half the year remain
found too truly that they were but dreams THE LAMENT OF SWORDY WELL Petitioners are full of prayers To fall in pity’s way But if her hand the gift forbears They’ll sooner swear than pray They’re not the worst to want who lurch On plenty with complaints No more then those who go to church Are e’er the better saints I hold no hat to beg a mite Nor pick it up when thrown Nor limping leg I hold in sight But pray to keep my own Where profit gets his clutches in There’s little he will
a little arch is thrown No brook is here I feel the loss From home and friends and all alone — The stone pit with its shelvy sides Seemed hanging rocks in my esteem I miss the prospect far and wide From Langley Bush, and so I seem Alone and in a stranger scene Far far from spots my heart esteems The closen with their ancient green Heaths woods and pastures’ sunny streams The awthorns here were hung with may But still they seem in deader green The sun e’en seems to loose its way Nor
was ever true By sun and moon, by sea and shore, My life I love thee more and more And by that hope that lingers last For heaven when life’s hell is past By time the present - past and gone I’ve loved thee — and I love thee on Thy beauty made youth’s life divine Till my soul grew a part of thine Mary I mourn no pleasures gone — The past has made us both as one Now melancholly autumn* comes anew With showery clouds and fields of wheat tanned brown Along the meadow banks I peace pursue
cottage-smoke Curl upwards through the naked trees The pigeons nestled round the cote* On dull November days like these The cock upon the dunghill crowing The mill-sails on the heath agoing The feather from the raven’s breast Falls on the stubble-lea The acorns near the old crow’s nest Fall pattering down the tree The grunting pigs that wait for all Scramble and hurry where they fall SONG Where the ash-tree weaves Shadows over the river And the willow’s grey leaves Shake and