John Clare

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

Bonny Mary O!


The morning opens fine, bonny Mary O!
The robin sings his song by the dairy O!
Where the little Jenny wrens cock their tails among the hens,
Singing morning's happy songs with Mary O!

The swallow's on the wing, bonny Mary O!
Where the rushes fringe the spring, bonny Mary O!
Where the cowslips do unfold, shaking tassels all of gold,
Which make the milk so sweet, bonny Mary O!

There's the yellowhammer's nest, bonny Mary O!
Where she hides her golden breast, bonny Mary O!
On her mystic eggs she dwells, with strange writing on their shells,
Hid in the mossy grass, bonny Mary O!

There the spotted cow gets food, bonny Mary O!
And chews her peaceful cud, bonny Mary O!
In the mole-hills and the bushes, and the clear brook fringed with rushes
To fill the evening pail, bonny Mary O!

The cowpond once agen, bonny Mary O!
Lies dimpled like thy sen, bonny Mary O!
Where the gnat swarms fall and rise under evening's mellow skies,
And on flags sleep dragon flies, bonny Mary O!

And I will meet thee there, bonny Mary O!
When a-milking you repair, bonny Mary O!
And I'll kiss thee on the grass, my buxom, bonny lass,
And be thine own for aye, bonny Mary O!

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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