Langley Bush.

A poem by John Clare

O Langley Bush! the shepherd's sacred shade,
Thy hollow trunk oft gain'd a look from me;
Full many a journey o'er the heath I've made,
For such-like curious things I love to see.
What truth the story of the swain allows,
That tells of honours which thy young days knew,
Of "Langley Court" being kept beneath thy boughs
I cannot tell--thus much I know is true,
That thou art reverenc'd: even the rude clan
Of lawless gipsies, driven from stage to stage,
Pilfering the hedges of the husbandman,
Spare thee, as sacred, in thy withering age.
Both swains and gipsies seem to love thy name,
Thy spot's a favourite with the sooty crew,
And soon thou must depend on gipsy-fame,
Thy mouldering trunk is nearly rotten through.
My last doubts murmur on the zephyr's swell,
My last look lingers on thy boughs with pain;
To thy declining age I bid farewel,
Like old companions, ne'er to meet again.

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