John Clare

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

The Swallow


Pretty swallow, once again
Come and pass me in the rain.
Pretty swallow, why so shy?
Pass again my window by.

The horsepond where he dips his wings,
The wet day prints it full of rings.
The raindrops on his [ ] track
Lodge like pearls upon his back.

Then again he dips his wing
In the wrinkles of the spring,
Then oer the rushes flies again,
And pearls roll off his back like rain.

Pretty little swallow, fly
Village doors and windows by,
Whisking oer the garden pales
Where the blackbird finds the snails;

Whewing by the ladslove tree
For something only seen by thee;
Pearls that on the red rose hing
Fall off shaken by thy wing.

On that low thatched cottage stop,
In the sooty chimney pop,
Where thy wife and family
Every evening wait for thee.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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