Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The Honey Dew of Solitude

John Clare, Summer Images, lines 22-49:
Me not the noise of brawling pleasure cheers,
  In nightly revels or in city streets;
But joys which soothe, and not distract the ears,
  That one at leisure meets
In the green woods, and meadows summer-shorn,
  Or fields, where bee-fly greets
    The ear with mellow horn.

The green-swathed grasshopper, on treble pipe,
  Sings there, and dances, in mad-hearted pranks;
There bees go courting every flower that's ripe,
  On baulks and sunny banks;
And droning dragon-fly, on rude bassoon,
  Attempts to give God thanks
    In no discordant tune.

The speckled thrush, by self-delight embued,
  There sings unto himself for joy's amends,
And drinks the honey dew of solitude.
  There Happiness attends
With inbred Joy until the heart o'erflow,
  Of which the world's rude friends,
  Nought heeding, nothing know.

There the gay river, laughing as it goes,
  Plashes with easy wave its flaggy sides,
And to the calm of heart, in calmness shows
  What pleasure there abides,
To trace its sedgy banks, from trouble free:
  Spots, Solitude provides
  To muse and happy be.

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