John Clare

A Lady, "Lines presented with a Volume of Clare's Poems to a Noble Friend" Morning Post (8 February 1820).

Oh! take this little volume to thy care—
And be the friend of Genius and of "Clare!"
There Nature's dictates, unadorn'd by art,
He sweetly tells; and powerful, doth impart
Those moral precepts — in such simple strain
We read — we wonder — and respect the swain.
Hail! native genius! bred in lowly vale,
May'st thou be cherish'd by a fostering gale.
Ye friends to genius! early succour yield,
And pluck this wild-flower from the common field,
Transplant it to a soil more genial, warm,
Where, by fond culture, it each sense may charm;
Oh! nurse this minstrel! Nature's simple child,
"That he may sing his wood-notes sweet and wild,"
To charm the ear, to glad the feeling heart,
And to the mind new beauties to impart;
Let not such talent pine in shades away—
Oh, call the labourer forth to brighter day!
But should, alas! such succour not be lent,
"He'll put up with distress, and be content."
January 30, 1820.