Early Love

A poem by John Clare

The Spring of life is o'er with me,
And love and all gone by;
Like broken bough upon yon tree,
I'm left to fade and die.
Stern ruin seized my home and me,
And desolate's my cot:
Ruins of halls, the blasted tree,
Are emblems of my lot.

I lived and loved, I woo'd and won,
Her love was all to me,
But blight fell o'er that youthful one,
And like a blasted tree
I withered, till I all forgot
But Mary's smile on me;
She never lived where love was not,
And I from bonds was free.

The Spring it clothed the fields with pride,
When first we met together;
And then unknown to all beside
We loved in sunny weather;
We met where oaks grew overhead,
And whitethorns hung with may;
Wild thyme beneath her feet was spread,
And cows in quiet lay.

I thought her face was sweeter far
Than aught I'd seen before--
As simple as the cowslips are
Upon the rushy moor:
She seemed the muse of that sweet spot,
The lady of the plain,
And all was dull where she was not,
Till we met there again.

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