John Clare

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

Mary Bateman


My love she wears a cotton plaid,
A bonnet of the straw;
Her cheeks are leaves of roses spread,
Her lips are like the haw.
In truth she is as sweet a maid
As true love ever saw.

Her curls are ever in my eyes,
As nets by Cupid flung;
Her voice will oft my sleep surprise,
More sweet then ballad sung.
O Mary Bateman's curling hair!
I wake, and there is nothing there.

I wake, and fall asleep again,
The same delights in visions rise;
There's nothing can appear more plain
Than those rose cheeks and those bright eyes.
I wake again, and all alone
Sits Darkness on his ebon throne.

All silent runs the silver Trent,
The cobweb veils are all wet through,
A silver bead's on every bent,
On every leaf a bleb of dew.
I sighed, the moon it shone so clear;
Was Mary Bateman walking here?

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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