Two Sonnets To Mary

A poem by John Clare


I met thee like the morning, though more fair,
And hopes 'gan travel for a glorious day;
And though night met them ere they were aware,
Leading the joyous pilgrims all astray,
Yet know I not, though they did miss their way,
That joyed so much to meet thee, if they are
To blame or bless the fate that bade such be.
Thou seem'dst an angel when I met thee first,
Nor has aught made thee otherwise to me:
Possession has not cloyed my love, nor curst
Fancy's wild visions with reality.
Thou art an angel still; and Hope, awoke
From the fond spell that early raptures nurst,
Still feels a joy to think that spell ne'er broke.


The flower that's gathered beauty soon forsakes;
The bliss grows feeble as we gain the prize;
Love dreams of joy, and in possession wakes,
Scarce time enough to hail it ere it dies:
Life intermingles, with its cares and sighs,
And rapture's dreams are ended. Heavenly flower!
It is not so with thee! Still fancy's power
Throws rainbow halos round thee, and thine eyes,
That once did steal their sapphire blue from even,
Are beaming on; thy cheeks' bewitching dye,
Where partial roses all their blooms had given,
Still in fond memory with the rose can vie;
And thy sweet bosom, which to view was heaven,
No lily yet a fairer hue supplies.

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