The Request.

A poem by John Clare

Now the sun his blinking beam
Behind yon mountain loses,
And each eye, that might evil deem,
In blinded slumber closes:
Now the field's a desert grown,
Now the hedger's fled the grove;
Put thou on thy russet gown,
Shielded from the dews, my love,
And wander out with me.

We have met at early day,
Slander rises early,
Slander's tongues had much to say,
And still I love thee dearly:
Slander now to rest has gone,
Only wakes the courting dove;
Slily steal thy bonnet on,
Leave thy father's cot, my love,
And wander out with me.

Clowns have pass'd our noon-day screen,
'Neath the hawthorn's blossom,
Seldom there the chance has been
To press thee to my bosom:
Ploughmen now no more appear,
Night-winds but the thorn-bough move;
Squander not a minute here,
Lift the door-latch gently, love,
And wander out with me.

Oh the hour so sweet as this,
With friendly night surrounded,
Left free to talk, embrace, and kiss,
By virtue only bounded--
Lose it not, make no delay,
Put on thy doublet, hat, and glove,
Sly ope the door and steal away;
And sweet 'twill be, my only love,
To wander out with thee.

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