John Clare

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

The Tramp


He eats (a moment's stoppage to his song)
The stolen turnip as he goes along;
And hops along and heeds with careless eye
The passing crowded stage coach reeling bye.
He talks to none but wends his silent way,
And finds a hovel at the close of day,
Or under any hedge his house is made.
He has no calling and he owns no trade.
An old smoaked blanket arches oer his head,
A whisp of straw or stubble makes his bed.
He knows a lawless law that claims no kin
But meet and plunder on and feel no sin--
No matter where they go or where they dwell
They dally with the winds and laugh at hell.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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