Saturday, December 22, 2007


Zemblance of an Hermitage

John Clare, Snow Storm:
Winter is come in earnest and the snow
In dazzling splendour—crumpling underfoot
Spreads a white world all calm and where we go
By hedge or wood trees shine from top to root
In feathered foliage flashing light and shade
Of strangest contrast—fancys pliant eye
Delighted sees a vast romance displayed
And fairy halls descended from the sky
The smallest twig its snowy burthen wears
And woods oer head the dullest eyes engage
To shape strange things—where arch and pillar bears
A roof of grains fantastic arched and high
And little shed beside the spinney wears
The grotesque zemblance of an hermitage
One almost sees the hermit from the wood
Come bending with his sticks beneath his arm
And then the smoke curl up its dusky flood
From the white little roof his peace to warm
One shapes his books his quiet and his joys
And in romances world forgetting mood
The scene so strange so fancys mind employs
It seems heart aching for his solitude
Domestic spots near home and trod so oft
Seen daily—known for years—by the strange wand
Of winters humour changed—the little croft
Left green at night when morns loth look obtrudes
Trees bushes grass to one wild garb subdued
Are gone and left us in another land
Caspar David Friedrich, Verschneite Hütte (Hütte im Schnee), Berlin, Alte Nationalgalerie, ca. 1827.

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