A poem by John Clare

Dream not of love, to think it like
What waking love may prove to be,
For I dreamed so and broke my heart,
When my false lover slighted me.

Love, like to flowers, is sweet when green;
The rose in bud aye best appears;
And she that loves a handsome man
Should have more wit than she has years.

I put my finger in a bush,
Thinking the sweeter rose to find;
I pricked my finger to the bone,
And left the sweetest rose behind.

I threw a stone into the sea,
And deep it sunk into the sand,
And so did my poor heart in me
When my false lover left the land.

I watched the sun an hour too soon
Set into clouds behind the town;
So my false lover left, and said
"Good night" before the day was down.

I cropt a lily from the stalk,
And in my hand it died away;
So did my joy, so will my heart,
In false love's cruel grasp decay.

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