Saturday, March 29, 2008


For Our Happiness and Mirth

John Clare, The Primrose Bank:

Tis spring day roams with flowers
Down every little lane
& the night is hardly night
But a round of happy hours
Yes nights are happy nights
The sky is full of stars
Like worlds in peace they lye
Enjoying one delight
The dew is on the thorn
& the primrose underneath
Just agen the mossy root
Is smiling to the morn
With its little brunny eye
& its yellow rim so pale
& its crimp & curdled leaf
Who can pass its beautys bye
Without a look of love
When we tread the little path
That skirts the woodland side
Who can pass—nor look above
To him who blesses earth
With these messengers of spring
& decorates the fields
For our happiness & mirth
I cannot for I go
In my fancy once again
In the woods & little holts
Where the primrose used to grow
The wood bank seemed so fair
& the hedgrow in the lane
Seemed so sweet that scores of times
Have I wished my cottage there
& felt that lovely mood
As a birthright God had given
To muse in the green woods
& meet the smiles of heaven
& though no culture comes
To the places where they grow
Every spring finds more & more
Till the woods all yellow blooms
The woodmans guessing way
Oft tramples many down
But theres not a blossom missing
When he comes another day
The woods have happy guests
& the birds sing twice as loud
When they see such crowds of blossoms
Underneath their little nests
As beautys for the spring
Their maker sends them forth
That man may have his mirth
& nature laugh & sing
For when roaming where they flower
They seemed to make woods happy
& amid the green light round them
I've spent many a happy hour
But since I used to stray
In their hazel haunts for joy
The world has found the happy spots
& took the charm away
It has tracked the pleasant springs
Like armys on their march
Till dearest spots that used to be
Are nought but common things
Save that their sights employ
Balm gales & sunny blooms
The mind in shaping heavens
As one continued joy

John Clare, Primroses:

I love the rath primroses pale brimstone primroses
  That bloom in the thick wood and i' the green closes
I love the primroses whenever they come
  Where the blue fly sits pensive and humble bees hum
The pale brimstone primroses come at the spring
  Swept over and fann'd by the wild thrushes wing
Bow'd down to the leaf cover'd ground by the bees
  Who sing their spring ballads thro bushes and trees

Like patches o' flame i' the Ivy so green
  And dark green oak leaves where the Autumn has been
Put on thy straw hat love and russet stuff gown
  And see the pale primroses grow up and down
The pale brimstone primroses wild wood primroses
  Which maids i' the dark woods make into posies
Put on thy stuff gown love and off let us be
  To seek brimstone primroses neath the Oak tree

Spring time is come love primroses bloom fair
  The sun o' the morning shines in thy bright hair
The ancient wood shadows are bonny dark green
  That throw out like giants the stovens between
While brimstone primroses like patches o' flame
  Blaze through the dead leaves making Ivy look tame
I love the rath primrose in hedgerows and closes
  Together lets wander to gather primroses—

John Clare, The Primrose:

Welcome, pale primrose! starting up between
Dead matted leaves of ash and oak, that strew
The every lawn, the wood, and spinny through,
Mid creeping moss and ivy's darker green;
How much thy presence beautifies the ground!
How sweet thy modest, unaffected pride
Glows on the sunny bank, and wood's warm side!
And where thy fairy flowers in groups are found,
The school-boy roams enchantedly along,
Plucking the fairest with a rude delight;
While the meek shepherd stops his simple song
To gaze a moment on the pleasing sight;
O'erjoyed to see the flowers that truly bring
The welcome news of sweet returning Spring.

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