To John Clare

Well, honest John, how fare you now at home?
The spring is come, and birds are building nests;
The old cock-robin to the sty is come,
With olive feathers and its ruddy breast;
And the old cock, with wattles and red comb,
Struts with the hens, and seems to like some best,
Then crows, and looks about for little crumbs,
Swept out by little folks an hour ago;
The pigs sleep in the sty; the bookman comes--
The little boy lets home-close nesting go,
And pockets tops and taws, where daisies blow,


To My Worthy Friend Mr. Peter Lilly On That Excellent Pict

See! what a clouded majesty, and eyes
Whose glory through their mist doth brighter rise!
See! what an humble bravery doth shine,
And griefe triumphant breaking through each line,
How it commands the face! so sweet a scorne
Never did HAPPY MISERY adorne!
So sacred a contempt, that others show
To this, (oth' height of all the wheele) below,
That mightiest monarchs by this shaded booke
May coppy out their proudest, richest looke.

Whilst the true eaglet this quick luster spies,


To My Little Niece Anne Duyckinck

To his charming black-eyed niece
Uncle Harry wishest peace!
Wishes roses over strow'd
O'er her sublunary road!

No rude winds around her howl,
O'er her head no tempests scowl;
No red lightnings flash around,
No loud thunders rock the ground!

Bright has been her morning sun,
Brighter still be that to come!
All a blue serene above,
Within, all innocence and love.


To Mignon

Over vale and torrent far
Rolls along the sun's bright car.
Ah! he wakens in his course

Mine, as thy deep-seated smart

In the heart.
Ev'ry morning with new force.

Scarce avails night aught to me;
E'en the visions that I see
Come but in a mournful guise;

And I feel this silent smart

In my heart
With creative pow'r arise.

During many a beauteous year
I have seen ships 'neath me steer,
As they seek the shelt'ring bay;

But, alas, each lasting smart

In my heart


To Lou Andreas-Salome

I held myself too open, I forgot
that outside not just things exist and animals
fully at ease in themselves, whose eyes
reach from their lives' roundedness no differently
than portraits do from frames; forgot that I
with all I did incessantly crammed
looks into myself; looks, opinion, curiosity.
Who knows: perhaps eyes form in space
and look on everywhere. Ah, only plunged toward you
does my face cease being on display, grows
into you and twines on darkly, endlessly,
into your sheltered heart.


To Contemplation

Faint gleams the evening radiance thro' the sky,
The sober twilight dimly darkens round;
In short quick circles the shrill bat flits by,
And the slow vapour curls along the ground.

Now the pleas'd eye from yon lone cottage sees
On the green mead the smoke long-shadowing play;
The Red-breast on the blossom'd spray
Warbles wild her latest lay,
And sleeps along the dale the silent breeze.
Calm CONTEMPLATION,'tis thy favorite hour!
Come fill my bosom, tranquillizing Power.


To Elizabeth Ward Perkins

Dear Bessie, would my tired rhyme
Had force to rise from apathy,
And shaking off its lethargy
Ring word-tones like a Christmas chime.

But in my soul's high belfry, chill
The bitter wind of doubt has blown,
The summer swallows all have flown,
The bells are frost-bound, mute and still.

Upon the crumbling boards the snow
Has drifted deep, the clappers hang
Prismed with icicles, their clang
Unheard since ages long ago.

The rope I pull is stiff and cold,


To Eva

O Fair and stately maid, whose eye
Was kindled in the upper sky
At the same torch that lighted mine;
For so I must interpret still
Thy sweet dominion o'er my will,
A sympathy divine.

Ah! let me blameless gaze upon
Features that seem in heart my own,
Nor fear those watchful sentinels
Which charm the more their glance forbids,
Chaste glowing underneath their lids
With fire that draws while it repels.

Thine eyes still shined for me, though far
I lonely roved the land or sea,


To Ellen, At The South

The green grass is growing,
The morning wind is in it,
'Tis a tune worth the knowing,
Though it change every minute.

'Tis a tune of the spring,
Every year plays it over,
To the robin on the wing,
To the pausing lover.

O'er ten thousand thousand acres
Goes light the nimble zephyr,
The flowers, tiny feet of shakers,
Worship him ever.

Hark to the winning sound!
They summon thee, dearest,
Saying; "We have drest for thee the ground,
Nor yet thou appearest.


To His Dead Body

When roaring gloom surged inward and you cried,
Groping for friendly hands, and clutched, and died,
Like racing smoke, swift from your lolling head
phantoms of thought and memory thinned and fled.

Yet, though my dreams that throng the darkened stair
Can bring me no report of how you fare,
Safe quit of wars, I speed you on your way
Up lonely, glimmering fields to find new day,
Slow-rising, saintless, confident and kind—
Dear, red-faced father God who lit your mind.


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