To The Violet.

A poem by John Clare

Sweet tiny flower of darkly hue,
Lone dweller in the pathless shade;
How much I love thy pensive blue
Of innocence so well display'd!

What time the watery skies are full
Of streaming dappled clouds so pale,
And sideling rocks, more white than wool,
Portending snowy sleet, or hail;

I 'gin to seek thy charming flower
Along each hedge-row's mossy seat,
Where, dithering many a cold bleak hour,
I've hugg'd myself in thy retreat.

What makes me cherish such fond taste,
What makes such raptures spring for thee,
Is, that thou lov'st the dreary waste
Which is so well belov'd by me.

For solitude should be my choice
Could I this labouring life resign,
To see the little birds rejoice,
And thy sweet flowers in clusters shine.

I'd choose a cave beside some rock,
Clos'd in all round with ash and thorn,
That near my door thy tribe might flock
To shed their sweets in early morn.

But, ah! that way would never prove
Means to sustain impending life;
I must forego those scenes I love,
And still beat on with needy strife.

Sweet flower ! we must reverse the plan,
Nor cherish such romantic views;
I'll strive to seek thee when I can,
Through noontide heat or evening dews.

To spring return, with all thy train
Of flowrets cloth'd in varied hue,
I long to see that morn again
Which brings to light the violet blue.

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