A poem by John Clare

Life, thou art misery, or as such to me;
One name serves both, or I no difference see;
Tho' some there live would call thee heaven below,
But that's a nickname I've not learn'd to know:
A wretch with poverty and pains replete,
Where even useless stones beneath his feet
Cannot be gather'd up to say "they're mine,"
Sees little heaven in a life like thine.
Hope lends a sorry shelter from thy storms,
And largely promises, but small performs.
O irksome life! were but this hour my last!
This weary breath fain sighs for its decay;
O that my soul death's dreary vale had past,
And met the sunshine of a better day!

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