Emmonsail's Heath In Winter

I love to see the old heath's withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps its melancholy wing,
An oddling crow in idle motion swing
On the half-rotten ash-tree's topmost twig,
Beside whose trunk the gypsy makes his bed.
Up flies the bouncing woodcock from the brig
Where a black quagmire quakes beneath the tread;
The fieldfares chatter in the whistling thorn
And for the haw round fields and closen rove,
And coy bumbarrels, twenty in a drove,
Flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain
And hang on little twigs and start again.

by John Clare

Comments (10)

hang on little twigs and start again. this is the life and we have to pick up
Clare's life was tragic even by poet standards he followed the tradition of troubled souls who used the pen to escape the horrors of their mind. What I love about his nature poems is how he can fill every scene with naturalistic beauty with rich cascading language. I know I could never walk under moonlight glade and come up with what he came. His was a true passion for the world, even though it ate his being. A good work from a great man
The word love at the beginning is indicative. This lovely poem shows Clare's psychic downward trend. Out of the darkness of the soul soars the light.
I see the quagmire in the write. The evil crow in its flight.Frozen hedgehogs in the hedgerows.Then I hang my hat and start a party beside the trunk where the gypsy makes his bed. Certainly he was surely a dead head fan back in the day.
So, PH, why was my comment removed?
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