John Clare

Eliza L. Emmerson, "Lines to the Northamptonshire Poet" Morning Post (5 May 1830).

When flowers are cull'd by sympathy,
And genius bringeth them to me—
When fancy doth the chaplet twine,
It hath a charm — a charm divine!

None but the Poet e'er could string
The simple blooms of early Spring
Into a wreath so fair, so gay,
To offer on the birth of May.

Yet, hast thou braided it for me?
This lovely wreath! it cannot be—
The tribute is too sweet to bring,
Even as friendship's offering!

I must not twine it in my hair—
The garland is indeed too fair;
I dare not place it on my brow—
Ah! no, it is so altered now.

I'll keep it fresh with grateful tears,
The gentle pledge, for after years;
I'll shrine it safe from harm away,
Within my breast — sweet wreath of May!
E. L. E.
Stratford-place, My 5, 1830.