To A Bower.

A poem by John Clare

Three times, sweet hawthorn! I have met thy bower,
And thou hast gain'd my love, and I do feel
An aching pain to leave thee: every flower
Around thee opening doth new charms reveal,
And binds my fondness stronger.--Wild wood bower,
In memory's calendar thou'rt treasur'd up:
And should we meet in some remoter hour,
When all thy bloom to winter-winds shall droop;
Ah, in life's winter, many a day to come,
Should my grey wrinkles pass thy spot of ground,
And find it bare--with thee no longer crown'd;
Within the woodman's faggot torn from hence,
Or chopt by hedgers up for yonder fence;
Ah, should I chance by thee as then to come,
I'll look upon thy nakedness with pain,
And, as I view thy desolated doom,
In fancy's eye I'll fetch thy shade again:
And of this lovely day I'll think and sigh,
And ponder o'er this sweetly-passing hour,
And feel as then the throes of joys gone by,
When I was young, and thou a blooming bower.

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