John Clare: To Miss C——.

William Sergeant Kendall - A Child
William Sergeant Kendall – A Child (1918)

From Asylum Poems, another treasure of sensuality by John Clare. The girl whom he loves dazzles him in all possible ways: the sound of her voice, the glance of her eyes, the colour of her cheeks, the shape of her body, the way she walks, but foremost her faithful love.

To Miss C——.

Thy glance is the brightest,
Thy voice is the sweetest,
Thy step is the lightest,
Thy shape the completest:
Thy waist I could span, dear,
Thy neck’s like a swan’s, dear,
And roses the sweetest
On thy cheeks do appear.

The music of Spring
Is the voice of my charmer.
When the nightingales sing
She’s as sweet; who would harm her?
Where the snowdrop or lily lies
They show her face, but her eyes
Are the dark clouds, yet warmer,
From which the quick lightning flies
O’er the face of my charmer.

Her faith is the snowdrop,
So pure on its stem;
And love in her bosom
She wears as a gem;
She is young as Spring flowers,
And sweet as May showers,
Swelling the clover buds, and bending the stem,
She’s the sweetest of blossoms, she love’s favourite gem.

Source: Life and Remains of John Clare, The “Northamptonshire Peasant Poet” by John Clare, edited by J. L. Cherry, London: Frederick Warne & Co. (1873), digitised on Internet Archive. The poem is page 188. See also the hypertext transcription as a Project Gutenberg ebook.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2016/05/23.

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