Song. "Swamps Of Wild Rush-Beds"

A poem by John Clare

Swamps of wild rush-beds, and sloughs' squashy traces,
Grounds of rough fallows with thistle and weed,
Flats and low vallies of kingcups and daisies,
Sweetest of subjects are ye for my reed:

Ye commons left free in the rude rags of nature,
Ye brown heaths be-clothed in furze as ye be,
My wild eye in nature adores every feature,
Ye are dear as this heart in my bosom to me.

O native endearments! I would not forsake ye,
I would not forsake ye for sweetest of scenes;
For sweetest of gardens that nature could make me,
I would not forsake ye, dear vallies and greens:

Tho' nature ne'er dropt ye a cloud-resting mountain,
Nor waterfalls tumble their music so free;
Had nature deny'd ye a bush, tree, or fountain,
Ye still had been lov'd as an Eden by me.

And long, my dear vallies, long, long may ye flourish,
Though rush-beds and thistles make most of your pride;
May showers never fail the green's daisies to nourish,
Nor suns dry the fountain that rills by its side.

Your skies may be gloomy, and misty your mornings,
Your flat swampy vallies unwholesome may be;
Still, refuse of nature, without her adornings
Ye are dear as this heart in my bosom to me.

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