Quail's Nest

A poem by John Clare

I wandered out one rainy day
And heard a bird with merry joys
Cry "wet my foot" for half the way;
I stood and wondered at the noise,

When from my foot a bird did flee--
The rain flew bouncing from her breast
I wondered what the bird could be,
And almost trampled on her nest.

The nest was full of eggs and round--
I met a shepherd in the vales,
And stood to tell him what I found.
He knew and said it was a quail's,

For he himself the nest had found,
Among the wheat and on the green,
When going on his daily round,
With eggs as many as fifteen.

Among the stranger birds they feed,
Their summer flight is short and low;
There's very few know where they breed,
And scarcely any where they go.

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