We’re in the month of March, and so far it has come storming in like a lion, so maybe it will exit like a lamb! Born in the summer of 1793, John Clare was the son of a farm labourer; he was not well educated but became renowned for his celebrations of the English countryside. He died in 1864, having spent many years in an asylum…

… but here is a lovely poem by John Clare:

March Nosegay

The bonny March morning is beaming
In mingled crimson and grey,
White clouds are streaking and creaming
The sky till the noon of the day;
The fir deal looks darker and greener,
And grass hills below look the same;
The air all about is serener,
The birds less familiar and tame.

Here’s two or three flowers for my fair one,
Wood primroses and celandine too;
I oft look about for a rare one
To put in a posy for you.
The birds look so clean and so neat,
Though there’s scarcely a leaf on the grove;
The sun shines about me so sweet,
I cannot help thinking of love.

So where the blue violets are peeping,
By the warm sunny sides of the woods,
And the primrose, ‘neath early morn weeping,
Amid a large cluster of buds,
(The morning it was such a rare one,
So dewy, so sunny, and fair,)
I sought the wild flowers for my fair one,
To wreath in her glossy black hair.

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