The Madness Of John Clare
Some say that 'twas the environmental damage to his countryside caused the madness of John Clare
That the removal of the mature trees had driven him to despair
Of any hope for Mother Nature and her creatures wild and free
One reason that's put forward for his loss of sanity.
In the Helpston of his boyhood years his friends were only few
But to his beloved Village till death he remained true
Even in his old age from his beloved fields inspiration he still drew
And he became the greatest Nature poet that England ever knew.
The madness that was in John Clare perhaps in some small way is in us all
We struggle through this thing called life since the day we've learned to crawl
We may be looked upon as sane but in all of us the mad seed is still there
And perhaps it was his sensitivites that stirred it to life in Clare
Disadvantage of birth as it has been proved is not a barrier to renown
As great people rise above adversity and cannot be kept down
And Clare is one example his poems still alive today
Whilst all of those he knew in his childhod years from history fade away.
The tiny seed of madness in us all as well as passion for life
The Mary Joyce that John Clare loved did not become his wife
And so few people very few have married their true soul mate
To the story of the Helpston bard all of us can relate.
The immortal poems of the peasant poet will live forever more
And his fame has spread around the world far distant from England's shore
Yet he died in the Northampton asylum by all accounts completely mad
And he had lived a most unhappy life and his life story so sad.
As well as a great Poet a great Naturalist of wood, field and hedgerow
And despite the ravages of time his legend only grow
And the seed of madness that was in John Clare in some small way is in us all
As we struggle through this thing called life since the day we've learned to crawl.
Francis Duggan's Other Poems
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