John Clare

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

Clock-O'-Clay - Poem by John Clare

In the cowslip pips I lie,
Hidden from the buzzing fly,
While green grass beneath me lies,
Pearled with dew like fishes' eyes,
Here I lie, a clock-o'-clay,
Waiting for the time o' day.

While the forest quakes surprise,
And the wild wind sobs and sighs,
My home rocks as like to fall,
On its pillar green and tall;
When the pattering rain drives by
Clock-o'-clay keeps warm and dry.

Day by day and night by night,
All the week I hide from sight;
In the cowslip pips I lie,
In the rain still warm and dry;
Day and night and night and day,
Red, black-spotted clock-o'-clay.

My home shakes in wind and showers,
Pale green pillar topped with flowers,
Bending at the wild wind's breath,
Till I touch the grass beneath;
Here I live, lone clock-o'-clay,
Watching for the time of day.


Comments about Clock-O'-Clay by John Clare

  • Rookie George Terrett (7/1/2010 2:33:00 AM)

    Cock-o'-clay is a ladybird (ladybug) . I assume it is related to the French word 'coccinelle' (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 110 Points Myrtle Thomas (2/1/2009 12:34:00 PM)

    I think what he is saying is his body of clay he sees as a clock! I enjoyed this read, but was lost in the meaning of a few words.But it was a picture in itself.Very lovely (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: green, rain, wind, home, red, night, time, fish, fishing, flower



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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