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Evening Primrose
(13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864 / Northamptonshire / England)

Evening Primrose

Poem By John Clare

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.

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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


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