John Clare Poems


- The Lifetime Published Poetry





Sonnets are indicated by (S) following the line.  The volume and page number are shown in the square brackets.


A beautiful flower, that bedeck’d a mean pasture, [VM2, 19]

A charm appears in every land, [RM, 94]

A grasshopper, idle the whole summer long, [RM, 86]

A shadow moving by one’s side, [SC, 219]

A splendid sun hath set!—when shall our eyes (S) [RM, 120]

A weedling wild, on lonely lea, [VM1, 96]

A wish will rise in every breast, [PD, 113]

Above the russet clods, the corn is seen  [RM, 83]

Again freckled cowslips are gilding the plain, [VM1, 140]

Age yellows my leaf with a daily decline, [VM1, 170]

Ah! happy spot, how still it seems [RM, 28]

Ah, little did I think in time that’s past,  [VM1, 65]

Ah, smiling cherub! cheating Hope, adieu! (S) [PD, 201]

Ah, thou poor, neglected hound! [PD, 37]

“Ah, where can he linger?” said Doll, with a sigh, [VM1, 153]

Ah, Youth’s sweet joys! why are ye gone astray? [PD, 142]

All how silent and how still; [PD, 69]

All Nature owns, with one accord, [RM, 61]

Amazing, grand eternity of Time! (S) [RM, 163]

Amidst the happiest joy, a shade of grief (S) [RM, 150]

An Imperfection as Perfection’s guest, (S) [RM, 144]

And though thou seem’st a weedling wild, [PD, 62]

And what is Life?—An hour-glass on the run, [PD, 35]

Antiquity! thou dark sublime! [SC, 228]                       

As fearless as a cherub’s rest, [RM, 40]

As o’er the gay pasture went rocking a clown, [PD, 106]

Ay, little Larky! what’s the reason, [PD, 12]

Aye, almost Scripture-truths!—My poorer mind (S) [RM, 164]


Beauty, how changing and how frail! [PD, 97]

Beneath a meadow bridge, whose arch was dry, [SC, 146]

Beneath a sheltering wood’s warm side, [PD, 19]

Beneath the sod where smiling creep [PD, 98]

Beside a runnel build my shed, [VM1, 83]

Birds sing and build, and Nature scorns alone (S) [RM, 153]

Black grows the southern sky, betokening rain, (S) [RM, 138]


Calm resignation meets a happy end; [VM1, 68]

Cocks wake the early morn with many a crow; [PD, 92]

Come, bleak November, in thy wildness come: [SC, 221]

Come, flattering Hope! now woes distress me, [PD, 110]

Come, Queen of Months! in company [SC, 42]

­Compassion sighs, and feels, and weeps, [PD, 99]

Cowslip bud, so early peeping, [VM1, 82]


Darkness came o’er like chaos; and the Sun, (S) [RM, 162]

Day burnishes the distant hills, [RM, 62]

Despis’d, unskill’d, or how I will, [PD, 111]

Dewint! I would not flatter; nor would I (S) [RM, 133]

Dropt here and there upon the flower [VM1, 149]


Each scene of youth to me’s a pleasing toy, [VM2, 14]

Eliza, farewel! ah, most lovely Eliza, [PD, 138]

Ere I had known the world, and understood (S) [RM, 140]

Ere the sun o’er the hills, round and red, ’gan a peeping, [PD, 153]


Fair blooms the rose upon the green, [PD, 188]

Fair was thy bloom, when first I met [RM, 44]

Fill the foaming cups again, [VM2, 142]

First love will with the heart remain [RM, 98]

Fixed in a white-thorn bush, its summer guest, (S) [RM, 117]

For fools that would wish to seem learned and wise, [PD, 44]

Free from the cottage corner, see how wild (S) [RM, 115]

Friend Lamb! thou choosest well, to love the lore (S) [RM, 155]

Friend Lubin loves his Saturdays, [PD, 171]


Genius! a pleasing rapture of the mind, [PD, 135]

Glad Christmas comes, and every hearth [SC, 93]

Glinton! thy taper spire predominates (S) [RM, 136]

Good Heaven! and can it be, that such a nook (S) [RM, 134]


Hail, falling Leaves! that patter round, [PD, 104]

Hail, gentle Winds! I love your murmuring sound; (S) [PD, 204]

Hail, humble Helpstone! where thy valleys spread, [PD, 3]

Hail, Scenes of desolation and despair, (S) [PD, 202]

Hail, soothing balm! Ye breezes blow, [VM1, 180]

Hard words to vague pretension blast like Death, (S) [RM, 151]

Hark to that happy shout!—the school-house door (S) [RM, 116]

Harvest approaches with its busy day; [SC, 68]

Harvest awakes the morning still, [SC, 76]

Her dusky mantle Eve had spread; [PD, 59]

Here on the greensward, ’mid the old mole-hills, (S) [RM, 164]

How beautiful and fresh the pastoral smell (S) [RM, 135]

How blest I’ve felt on summer eves, [RM, 74]

How fond the rustic’s ear at leisure dwells [VM2, 104]

How oft on Sundays, when I’d time to tramp, [VM1, 122]

How sweet it us’d to be, when April first [VM1, 98]

How sweet the Moon extends her cheering ray (S) [PD, 196]

Huge elm, with rifted trunk all notched and scarred, (S) [RM, 118]


I dreamed not what it was to woo, [RM, 102]

I have traced the valleys fair [RM, 37]

I love at even-tide to walk alone, (S) [RM, 114]

I love thee, sweet Mary, but love thee in fear; [VM1, 195]

I love to wander at my idle will, (S) [RM, 138]

I never pass a venerable tree, (S) [RM, 142]

I never saw a man in all my days― (S) [RM, 113]

I would not that my being all should die, (S) [RM, 125]

In every trifle something lives to please (S) [RM, 170]

In life’s first years as on a mother’s breast, [VM2, 130]

In massy foliage of a sunny green (S) [RM, 128]

In sooth, it seems right awful and sublime (S) [RM, 123]

In thy wild garb of other times [RM, 47]

It feeds on falsehood, and on clamour lives; (S) [RM, 148]

I’ve left my own old Home of Homes, (S) [RM, 171]


July, the month of Summer’s prime, [SC, 60]

Just as the even-bell rang, we set out [VM2, 30]

Just at the early peep of dawn, [PD, 79]

Just by the wooden bridge a bird flew up, [RM, 79]


Lady! ’tis thy desire to move [RM, 14]

Leaves, from eternity, are simple things [RM, 34]

Let brutish hearts, as hard as stones, [VM1, 165]

Like a thing of the desert, alone in its glee, [RM, 108]

Lone Lodge in the bend of the valley, farewel! [PD, 143]

Love, though it is not chill and cold, [RM, 54]

Lovely insect, haste away, [VM2, 63]


Majestic pile! thy rich and splendid tower (S) [RM, 156]

Man, Earth’s poor shadow! talks of Earth’s decay: (S) [RM, 146]

March, month of “many weathers,” wildly comes [SC, 27]

Mary! let us Love employ, [RM, 45]

Mary, the day of love’s pleasures has been, [VM2, 140]

Muse of the Fields! oft have I said farewell [RM, 1]

Musing beside the crackling fire at night, (S) [RM, 120]

My love, thou art a nosegay sweet, [PD, 184]

My love’s like a lily, my love’s like a rose, [PD, 185]

Mystery! thou subtile essence!—Ages gain (S) [RM, 149]


Nature now spreads around, in dreary hue, [SC, 83]

Nature, thou accept the song, [VM1, 78]

No flattering praises daub my stone, [PD, 85]

Now as even’s warning bell [VM1, 200]

Now Autumn’s come, adieu the pleasing greens, [PD, 41]

Now comes the bonny May, dancing and skipping (S) [RM, 152]

Now evening comes, and from the new-formed hedge (S) [RM, 158]

Now eve’s hours hot noon succeed; [VM1, 109]

Now glaring daylight’s usher’d to a close; (S) [PD, 203]

Now grey-ey’d hazy Eve’s begun [PD, 30]

Now happy swains review the plains, [VM1, 186]

Now infant April joins the Spring, [SC, 36]

Now once again, thou lovely Spring, [SC, 200]

Now Summer comes, and I with staff in hand (S) [RM, 124]

Now Summer is in flower, and Nature’s hum [SC, 54]

Now swarthy Summer, by rude health embrowned, [RM, 7]

Now that the Spring the quickening Earth espouses, (S) [RM, 122]

Now the snow hides the ground, little birds leave the wood, [PD, 42]

Now the sun his blinking beam [VM1, 198]

Now thou art gone, the fairy rose is fled, (S) [RM, 126]


O dismal disaster! O troublesome lot! [PD, 179]

O happy spot! how much the sight of thee [VM2, 36]

O Langley Bush! the shepherd’s sacred shade, [VM1, 164]

O lovely Maid! though thou art all [SC, 198]

O native Scenes, for ever, ever dear! (S) [PD, 205]

O painted clouds ! sweet beauties of the sky, [VM1, 147]

O Poesy is on the wane, [RM, 58]

O sweetly wild and ’witching Poesy! [VM1, 146]

O the voice of woman’s love! [RM, 52]

O thou Bliss! to riches known, [PD, 45]

O who can witness with a careless eye [VM1, 176]

Observe the flowers around us, how they live, (S) [RM, 169]

Of all the days in memory’s list, [VM2, 46]

Oh, dear! what fine thinkings beset me, [PD, 1st ed.]

Oh! I have been thy lover long, [SC, 234]

Oh, the world is all too rude for thee, with much ado and care; [RM, 50]

Old, favourite Tree! art thou too fled the scene? (S) [PD, 206]

Old January, clad in crispy rime, (S) [RM, 130]

Old noted oak! I saw thee in a mood (S) [RM, 136]

Old stone-pits, with veined ivy overhung; (S) [RM, 162]

Old tree thou art wither’d—I pass’d thee last year, [VM1, 151]

Omnipotent Eternal!—known Unknown! (S) [RM, 116]

On Lolham brigs, in wild and lonely mood, (S) [RM, 166]

On Sunday mornings, freed from hard employ, [VM2, 99]

Once in the merry toil of clipping time, [SC, 167]

Once more, thou flower of childish fame, [SC, 207]

One gloomy eve I roam’d about [VM1, 120]

One morn I wandered forth ’neath spirits high ­[RM, 41]

One, o’er heaths wandering in a pitch dark night, (S) [PD, 211]

Our years look behind us like tales that are told, [VM2, 126]


Pleased in his loneliness, he often lies, (S) [RM, 119]

Poet of mighty power! I fain [RM, 80]

Poor patient creature! how I grieve to see (S) [RM, 142]

Princess of Months!—so Nature’s choice ordains, (S) [RM, 154]


Right rosy gleamed the autumn morn, [RM, 106]

Rose, in full blown blushes dyed, [PD, 182]

Rude architect! rich instinct’s natural taste (S) [RM, 144]


Sad was the day when my Willy did leave me, [PD, 174]

Sauntering at ease, I often love to lean (S) [RM, 118]

Simple enchantress! Wreath’d in summer blooms [VM2, 144]

Slow boiling up, on the horizon’s brim, [VM1, 80]

Smiling in Sunshine, as the storm frowns by, (S) [RM, 156]

Some blame thee, honest Izaac! aye, and deem (S) [RM, 157]

Soon as the spring its earliest visit pays, [VM2, 112]

Soon as the twilight through the distant mist [VM2, 67]

Spring comes anew, and brings each little pledge (S) [RM, 129]

Stopt by the storm, that long in sullen black [VM2, 84]

Surely Lucy love returns, [VM1, 100]

Swamps of wild rush-beds, and sloughs’ squashy traces, [VM1, 105]

Sweet are the omens of approaching Spring, (S) [PD, 207]

Sweet brook! I’ve met thee many a summer’s day, (S) [RM, 143]

Sweet gem of infant fairy-flowers! [VM1, 162]

Sweet is the poesy of the olden time, (S) [RM, 132]

Sweet little bird in russet coat, [RM, 69]

Sweet Mary, though nor sighs nor pains [VM1, 177]

Sweet pastime here my mind so entertains, [RM, 67]

Sweet tiny flower of darkly hue, [VM2, 52]

Sweet unassuming Minstrel! not to thee (S) [RM, 127]

Sweet, uncultivated blossom, [PD, 82]

Sybil of Months, and worshipper of winds! (S) [RM, 132]

Syren of sullen moods and fading hues, [RM, 24]


Tasteful Illumination of the night, (S) [PD, 199]

That summer bird its oft-repeated note (S) [RM, 140]

The beating snow-clad bell, with sounding dead, [VM2, 20]

The cock awakes the rosy dawn, [PD, 176]

The cocks have now the morn foretold, [PD, 127]

The day waxes warmer, [RM, 104]

The dewy virtues of the early morn (S) [RM, 160]

The eve put on her sweetest shroud, [VM2, 3]

The faint sun tipt the rising ground, [VM2, 37]

The fairest summer hath its sudden showers; (S) [RM, 159]

The happy White-throat on the swaying bough, (S) [RM, 134]

The hazel-blooms, in threads of crimson hue, (S) [RM, 145]

The heroes of the present and the past [RM, 30]

The juicy wheat now spindles into ear, (S) [RM, 139]

The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon; [SC, 88]

The Landscape’s stretching view, that opens wide, (S) [PD, 198]

The oak’s slow-opening leaf, of deepening hue, (S) [PD, 208]

The pewit is come to the green, [RM, 111]

The rich man claims it; but he often buys (S) [RM, 147]

The rosy day was sweet and young, [VM1, 124]

The Sabbath-day, of every day the best, [VM1, 171]

The season now is all delight, [SC, 185]

The shepherd boys play by the shaded stile, (S) [RM, 131]

The shepherd’s hut, propt by the double ash, (S) [RM, 167]

The sinking sun is taking leave, [PD, 118]

The snow has left the cottage top; [SC, 20]

The south-west wind! how pleasant in the face (S) [RM, 130]

The Spring comes in with all her hues and smells, (S) [RM, 122]

The spring returns, the pewet screams [RM, 56]

The sultry day it wears away, [VM1, 107]

The summer-flower has run to seed, [VM1, 86]

The sun had grown on lessening day [RM, 103]

The Sun had stooped, his westward clouds to win, (S) [RM, 158]

The sun now sinks behind the woodland green, [VM2, 75]

The sun was low sinking behind the far trees, [PD, 145]

The water-lilies on the meadow stream (S) [RM, 114]

There is a tender flower, [RM, 101]

There is a valued, though a stubborn weed, (S) [RM, 146]

There is a viper, that doth hide its head (S) [RM, 148]

There was a time, when love’s young flowers [VM2, 136]

There’s more than music in this early wind, (S) [RM, 165]

There’s the daisy, the woodbine, [VM2, 138]

These buried ruins, now in dust forgot, [PD, 65]

These tiny loiterers on the barley’s beard, [RM, 78]

This morning, just as I awoken, [PD, 86]

This scene, how beauteous to a musing mind, (S) [PD, 193]

Those rude old tales!—man’s memory augurs ill, (S) [RM, 168]

Those stepping-stones, that cross the meadow-streams, (S) [RM, 161]

Thou little Insect, infinitely small (S) [PD, 200]

Thou sacred light, that right from wrong discerns; (S) [PD, 210]

Thou Warble wild, of rough, rude melody! (S) [PD, 213]

Thou Winter, thou art keen, intensely keen; [VM1, 197]

Thou’st been to me a friend indeed, (S) [RM, 174]

Though low my lot, my wish is won, [RM, 84]

Though o’er the darksome northern hill [VM2, 118]

Three times, sweet hawthorn! I have met thy bower, [VM1, 141]

’Tis hay-time; and the red-complexioned Sun (S) [RM, 160]

’Tis sweet to recollect life’s past controls, [VM2, 129]

To me how wildly pleasing is that scene (S) [PD, 197]

To sober with sad truths the laughing mirth [SC, 103]

To yon low church, with solemn-sounding knell, [PD, 73]

True love, the virgin’s first fond passion, [PD, 187]

Truth old as heaven is, and God is Truth, (S) [RM, 150]


Up like a princess starts the merry Morning, (S) [RM, 154]

Up this green woodland-ride let’s softly rove, [RM, 30]

Upon the plain there liv’d a swain, [PD, 167]


Warm into praises, kindling muse, [VM2, 58]

Waves trough—rebound—and furious boil again, (S) [RM, 166]

Welcome, old Comrade! peeping once again; [PD, 108]

Welcome, pale Primrose! starting up between (S) [PD, 194]

Welcome, red and roundy sun, [VM2, 55]

Welcome, sweet Eve! thy gently sloping sky, (S) [RM, 152]

Well! in my many walks I’ve rarely found [RM, 76]

“What ails my love, where can he be? [VM1, 182]

What antidote or charm on earth is found, (S) [PD, 195]

What are life’s joys and gains, [RM, 18]

What boots the toil to follow common fame, (S) [RM, 124]

What’s future fame?—a melody loud playing (S) [RM, 126]

When Expectation in the bosom heaves, (S) [PD, 212]

When I meet Peggy in my morning walk, [VM1, 189]

When nature’s beauty shone complete, [VM1, 143]

When Night’s last Hours, like haunting spirits, creep [SC, 210]

When once the sun sinks in the west, (S) [RM, 137]

“Where art thou wandering, little child?” [VM2, 29]

Where is the heart thou once hast won, [RM, 53]

Where lonesome woodlands close surrounding [PD, 172]

Where over many a stile, ’neath willows grey, [SC, 119]

Where the dark ivy the thorn-tree is mounting, [VM1, 103]

Where winding Gwash whirls round its wildest scene, (S) [PD, 209]

While learned poets rush to bold extremes, [VM1, 3]

Who lives where beggars rarely speed, [PD, 159]

Why is the cuckoo’s melody preferred, (S) [RM, 121]

Winter’s gone, the summer breezes [VM2, 34]

Withering and keen the Winter comes, [SC, 1]

Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush, (S) [RM, 128]

Within this pleasant wood, beside the lane, (S) [RM, 169]


Ye injur’d fields, ye once were gay, [VM2, 48]

Ye meaner beauties cease your pride, [PD, 102]

Ye simple weeds, that make the desert gay, (S) [RM, 141]

Ye swampy falls of pasture ground, [PD, 140]