Treasure Island

John Clare

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

The Crow Sat On The Willow


The crow sat on the willow tree
A-lifting up his wings,
And glossy was his coat to see,
And loud the ploughman sings,
'I love my love because I know
The milkmaid she loves me';
And hoarsely croaked the glossy crow
Upon the willow tree.
'I love my love' the ploughman sung,
And all the fields with music rung.

'I love my love, a bonny lass,
She keeps her pails so bright,
And blythe she trips the dewy grass
At morning and at night.
A cotton dress her morning gown,
Her face was rosy health:
She traced the pastures up and down
And nature was her wealth.'
He sung, and turned each furrow down,
His sweetheart's love in cotton gown.

'My love is young and handsome
As any in the town,
She's worth a ploughman's ransom
In the drab cotton gown.'
He sang and turned his furrow oer
And urged his team along,
While on the willow as before
The old crow croaked his song:
The ploughman sung his rustic lay
And sung of Phoebe all the day.

The crow he was in love no doubt
And [so were] many things:
The ploughman finished many a bout,
And lustily he sings,
'My love she is a milking maid
With red rosy cheek;
Of cotton drab her gown was made,
I loved her many a week.'
His milking maid the ploughman sung
Till all the fields around him rung.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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