Tuesday, November 11, 2008



John Clare (written Nov. 11, 1841):
'Tis Martinmass from rig to rig
Ploughed fields and meadow lands are blea
In hedge and field each restless twig
Is dancing on the naked tree
Flags in the dykes are bleached and brown
Docks by its sides are dry and dead
All but the ivy-boughs are brown
Upon each leaning dotterel's head

Crimsoned with awes the awthorns bend
O'er meadow-dykes and rising floods
The wild geese seek the reedy fen
And dark the storm comes o'er the woods
The crowds of lapwings load the air
With buzes of a thousand wings
There flocks of starnels too repair
When morning o'er the valley springs
awes: hawes
awthorns: hawthorns
blea: bleak
docks: weeds (cf. burdocks)
dotterel: pollard tree
dykes: ditches
flags: reeds
rig: ridge
starnels: starlings

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