More from John Clare… it’s an important night tonight as the votes in the General Election are counted, but let’s take a break for the moment, taking a break with fingers crossed, and enjoy this catalogue of garden delights:

June

Some ancient customs mixd wi harmless fun
Crowns the swains merry toils-the timid maid
Pleasd to be praisd and yet of praise affraid
Seeks her best flowers not those of woods and fields
But such as every farmers garden yield
Fine cabbage roses painted like her face
And shining pansys trimmd in golden lace
And tall tuft larkheels featherd thick wi flowers
And woodbines climbing oer the door in bowers
And London tufts of many a mottld hue
And pale pink pea and monkshood darkly blue
And white and purple jiliflowers that stay
Lingering in blossom summer half away
And single blood walls of a lucious smell
Old fashiond flowers which huswives love so well
And columbines stone blue or deep night brown
Their honey-comb-like blossoms hanging down
Each cottage gardens fond adopted child
Tho heaths still claim them where they yet grow wild
Mong their old wild companions summer blooms
Furze brake and mozzling ling and golden broom
Snap dragons gaping like to sleeping clowns
And ‘clipping pinks’ (which maidens sunday gowns
Full often wear catcht at by tozing chaps)
Pink as the ribbons round their snowy caps
‘Bess in her bravery’ too of glowing dyes
As deep as sunsets crimson pillowd skyes
And majoram notts sweet briar and ribbon grass
And lavender the choice of every lass
And sprigs of lads love all familiar names
Which every garden thro the village claims
These the maid gathers wi a coy delight
And tyes them up in readiness for night

John Clare

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