1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Clare

Eliza L. Emmerson, "Lines on receiving the Bust of the Northamptonshire Poet, executed by Henry Behne, Esq." Morning Post (14 April 1829).



Young Sculptor! thou couldst seek no shrine more fair
To win a laurel than the brow of CLARE!
It gave thee ample scope for all thy skill,
And thou hast shewn both talent and good will
To do the Poet justice; for we trace
The features of his mind as well as face;
The power of thought — of genius — here we see,
With the full attributes to Poesy!
Th' expansive forehead — the soul-speaking eye—
The lip that struggles 'tween a smile and sigh!
And Nature over Art doth full provide:
All these, young Sculptor, thou hast well descried.
The hand of Genius only could define,
And thou art rich, to have the gift divine.
Yes, BEHNER — yest, this work will fully prove
Thy talent hath been given thee from above.
"The Village Minstrel" here at once I see;
The Poet CLARE stands all confess'd to me,
In mental character, in feature shown,
The Muse will come, and claim the Bard her own,
And to the Artist — proof her her regard,
Present the maiden laurel — just reward!
Stratford-place, April 10, 1829.