Here is a further extract from John Clare’s Shepherd’s Calendar from the month of October:

Black ripening to the wan suns misty ray
Here the industrious huswives wend their way
Pulling the brittle branches carefull down
And hawking loads of berrys to the town
Wi unpretending skill yet half divine
To press and make their eldern berry wine
That bottld up becomes a rousing charm
To kindle winters icy bosom warm
That wi its merry partner nut brown beer
Makes up the peasants christmass keeping cheer
While nature like fair woman in decay
Which pale consumption hourly wastes away
Upon her waining features pale and chill
Wears dreams of beauty that seem lovely still
Among the heath furze still delights to dwell
Quaking as if with cold the harvest bell
The mushroom buttons each moist morning brings
Like spots of snow in the green tawney rings
And fuzz balls swelld like bladders in the grass
Which oft the merry laughing milking lass
Will stoop to gather in her sportive airs
And slive in mimickd fondness unawares
To smut the brown cheek of the teazing swain
Wi the black powder which their balls contain
Who feigns offence at first that love may speed
Then charms a kiss to recompence the deed

John Clare  1793 – 1864

2 thoughts on “October – nature like fair woman in decay

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