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Best Famous John Clare Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous John Clare poems. This is a select list of the best famous John Clare poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous John Clare poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of John Clare poems.

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by John Clare |

The Winters Spring

 The winter comes; I walk alone,
 I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their hearts their own
 The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please—no bees to hum—
 The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
 To come before its time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
 Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
 'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
 The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
 And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
 O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the crumpling snow
 That hangs on everything,
It covers everything below
 Like white dove's brooding wing,
A landscape to the aching sight,
 A vast expanse of dazzling light.

It is the foliage of the woods
 That winters bring—the dress,
White Easter of the year in bud,
 That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow his posies bring,
 Nature's white spurts of the spring.


by John Clare |

I Am

 I am: yet what I am none cares or knows
 My friends forsake me like a memory lost,
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
 They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love's frenzied, stifled throes—
And yet I am, and live—like vapors tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
 Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
 But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
Even the dearest, that I love the best,
Are strange—nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes, where man hath never trod,
 A place where woman never smiled or wept—
There to abide with my Creator, God,
 And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling, and untroubled where I lie,
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.


by John Clare |

What Is Life?

 Resembles Life what once was held of Light,
Too ample in itself for human sight ?
An absolute Self--an element ungrounded--
All, that we see, all colours of all shade
[Image]By encroach of darkness made ?--
Is very life by consciousness unbounded ?
And all the thoughts, pains, joys of mortal breath,
A war-embrace of wrestling Life and Death ?


by John Clare |

Evening

 'Tis evening; the black snail has got on his track,
And gone to its nest is the wren,
And the packman snail, too, with his home on his back,
Clings to the bowed bents like a wen.

The shepherd has made a rude mark with his foot
Where his shadow reached when he first came,
And it just touched the tree where his secret love cut
Two letters that stand for love's name.

The evening comes in with the wishes of love,
And the shepherd he looks on the flowers,
And thinks who would praise the soft song of the dove,
And meet joy in these dew-falling hours.

For Nature is love, and finds haunts for true love,
Where nothing can hear or intrude;
It hides from the eagle and joins with the dove,
In beautiful green solitude.


by John Clare |

Summer

 Remember the days of our first happiness,
how strong we were, how dazed by passion,
lying all day, then all night in the narrow bed,
sleeping there, eating there too: it was summer,
it seemed everything had ripened
at once. And so hot we lay completely uncovered.
Sometimes the wind rose; a willow brushed the window.

But we were lost in a way, didn't you feel that?
The bed was like a raft; I felt us drifting
far from our natures, toward a place where we'd discover nothing.
First the sun, then the moon, in fragments,
stone through the willow.
Things anyone could see.

Then the circles closed. Slowly the nights grew cool;
the pendant leaves of the willow
yellowed and fell. And in each of us began
a deep isolation, though we never spoke of this,
of the absence of regret.
We were artists again, my husband.
We could resume the journey.


by John Clare |

Summer

 Remember the days of our first happiness,
how strong we were, how dazed by passion,
lying all day, then all night in the narrow bed,
sleeping there, eating there too: it was summer,
it seemed everything had ripened
at once. And so hot we lay completely uncovered.
Sometimes the wind rose; a willow brushed the window.

But we were lost in a way, didn't you feel that?
The bed was like a raft; I felt us drifting
far from our natures, toward a place where we'd discover nothing.
First the sun, then the moon, in fragments,
stone through the willow.
Things anyone could see.

Then the circles closed. Slowly the nights grew cool;
the pendant leaves of the willow
yellowed and fell. And in each of us began
a deep isolation, though we never spoke of this,
of the absence of regret.
We were artists again, my husband.
We could resume the journey.


by John Clare |

Hens Nest

 Among the orchard weeds, from every search,
Snugly and sure, the old hen's nest is made,
Who cackles every morning from her perch
To tell the servant girl new eggs are laid;
Who lays her washing by, and far and near
Goes seeking all about from day to day,
And stung with nettles tramples everywhere;
But still the cackling pullet lays away.
The boy on Sundays goes the stack to pull
In hopes to find her there, but naught is seen,
And takes his hat and thinks to find it full,
She's laid so long so many might have been.
But naught is found and all is given o'er
Till the young brood come chirping to the door.


by John Clare |

The Cuckoo

 Cuckoos lead Bohemian lives, 
They fail as husbands and as wives, 
Therefore they cynically disparage 
Everybody else's marriage.


by John Clare |

Summer

 See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here. 
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd, 
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade. 
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours, 
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow'rs; 
When weary reapers quit the sultry field, 
And crown'd with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield. 
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides, 
But in my breast the serpent Love abides. 
Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew, 
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you. 
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats, 
The mossy fountains, and the green retreats! 
Where-e'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade, 
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade, 
Where-e'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise, 
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes. 
Oh! How I long with you to pass my days, 
Invoke the muses, and resound your praise; 
Your praise the birds shall chant in ev'ry grove, 
And winds shall waft it to the pow'rs above. 
But wou'd you sing, and rival Orpheus' strain, 
The wond'ring forests soon shou'd dance again, 
The moving mountains hear the pow'rful call, 
And headlong streams hang list'ning in their fall! 
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat, 
The lowing herds to murm'ring brooks retreat, 
To closer shades the panting flocks remove, 
Ye Gods! And is there no relief for Love? 
But soon the sun with milder rays descends
To the cool ocean, where his journey ends; 
On me Love's fiercer flames for every prey, 
By night he scorches, as he burns by day.


by John Clare |

Evening

 The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
 a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.