Evening Primrose

When once the sun sinks in the west,
And dewdrops pearl the evening's breast;
Almost as pale as moonbeams are,
Or its companionable star,
The evening primrose opes anew
Its delicate blossoms to the dew;
And, hermit-like, shunning the light,
Wastes its fair bloom upon the night,
Who, blindfold to its fond caresses,
Knows not the beauty it possesses;
Thus it blooms on while night is by;
When day looks out with open eye,
Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun,
It faints and withers and is gone.

by John Clare

Comments (3)

Benjamin Britten set this poem to a choral piece of the same name as part of 'The Flower Songs', which has approx 4 other poems set to music as well. I sang this once as a member of a choral society. It was the most beautiful of them. The poem was a little difficult to locate, being missing from my two collections of John Clare's poems. PoemHunter came through though.
This sonnet is written with the aabb end rhyme. I was wondering if John Clare is the first poet to utilize this format. I've searched other poets and sites and can't find any others who have so when I use it I refer to it as the John Clare Sonnet. Any comments or input would be appreciated... Amos Beck
This sonnet is written with the aabb end rhyme. I was wondering if John Clare is the first poet to utilize this format. I've searched other poets and sites and can't find any others who have so when I use it I refer to it as the John Clare Sonnet. Any comments or input would be appreciated... Amos Beck