John Clare

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

The Winter's Come - Poem by John Clare

Sweet chestnuts brown like soling leather turn;
The larch trees, like the colour of the Sun;
That paled sky in the Autumn seemed to burn,
What a strange scene before us now does run--
Red, brown, and yellow, russet, black, and dun;
White thorn, wild cherry, and the poplar bare;
The sycamore all withered in the sun.
No leaves are now upon the birch tree there:
All now is stript to the cold wintry air.

See, not one tree but what has lost its leaves--
And yet the landscape wears a pleasing hue.
The winter chill on his cold bed receives
Foliage which once hung oer the waters blue.
Naked and bare the leafless trees repose.
Blue-headed titmouse now seeks maggots rare,
Sluggish and dull the leaf-strewn river flows;
That is not green, which was so through the year
Dark chill November draweth to a close.

Tis Winter, and I love to read indoors,
When the Moon hangs her crescent up on high;
While on the window shutters the wind roars,
And storms like furies pass remorseless by.
How pleasant on a feather bed to lie,
Or, sitting by the fire, in fancy soar
With Dante or with Milton to regions high,
Or read fresh volumes we've not seen before,
Or oer old Burton's Melancholy pore.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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