Adieu To My False Love Forever

A poem by John Clare

The week before Easter, the days long and clear,
So bright shone the sun and so cool blew the air,
I went in the meadow some flowers to find there,
But the meadow would yield me no posies.

The weather, like love, did deceitful appear,
And I wandered alone when my sorrow was near,
For the thorn that wounds deeply doth bide the whole year,
When the bush it is naked of roses.

I courted a girl that was handsome and gay,
I thought her as constant and true as the day,
Till she married for riches and said my love "Nay,"
And so my poor heart got requited.

I was bid to the bridal; I could not say "No:"
The bridemen and maidens they made a fine show;
I smiled like the rest but my heart it was low,
To think how its hopes they were blighted.

The bride started gaily, the weather was fine,
Her parents looked after, and thought her divine;
She smiled in their faces, but looked not in mine,
Indeed I'd no heart to regard her.

Though love like the poplar doth lift its head high,
The top it may fade and the root it may die,
And they may have heart-aches that now live in joy,
But Heaven I'll leave to reward her.

When I saw my false love in the merry church stand,
With her ring on her finger and her love in her hand,
Smiling out in the joy of her houses and land,
My sighs I strove vainly to smother.

When my false love for dinner did dainties partake,
I sat me down also, but nothing could eat;
I thought her sweet company better than meat,
Although she was tied to another.

When my false love had gone to her bride bed at night,
My eyes filled with water which made double my sight;
I thought she was there when she'd bade us "Good night"
And her chair was put by till the morrow.

I drank to her joy with a tear on my face,
And the wine glass as usual I pushed on the space,
Nor knew she was gone till I looked at the place,
Such a fool was I made of by sorrow.

Now make me a bed in yon river so deep,
Let its waves be my mourners; nought living will weep,
And there let me lie and take a long sleep,
So adieu to my false love for ever.

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