Sunday Poetry – John Clare

The UK seems to be experiencing a hot summer this year & many people are enjoying the heat. It’s the middle of winter here & I’m loving the cold & the rain but, each to their own!
I thought I would celebrate the warmth of summer for those of you in the North with this poem, Summer Tints, by John Clare.

How sweet I’ve wander’d bosom-deep in grain,
When Summer’s mellowing pencil sweeps his shade
Of ripening tinges o’er the checquer’d plain:
Light tawny oat-lands with a yellow blade;
And bearded corn, like armies on parade;
Beans lightly scorch’d, that still preserve their green;
And nodding lands of wheat in bleachy brown;
And streaking banks, where many a maid and clown
Contrast a sweetness to the rural scene,–
Forming the little haycocks up and down:
While o’er the face of nature softly swept
The ling’ring wind, mixing the brown and green
So sweet, that shepherds from their bowers have crept,
And stood delighted musing o’er the scene
.

For those of us in the South or for anyone not enjoying the hot weather, here’s Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter.

I love to see the old heath’s withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps its melancholy wing,
An oddling crow in idle motion swing
On the half-rotten ash-tree’s topmost twig,
Beside whose trunk the gypsy makes his bed.
Up flies the bouncing woodcock from the brig
Where a black quagmire quakes beneath the tread;
The fieldfares chatter in the whistling thorn
And for the haw round fields and closen rove,
And coy bumbarrels, twenty in a drove,
Flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain
And hang on little twigs and start again.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Poetry – John Clare

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