1825 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Clare

Jacob Jones, "To Clare, the Northamptonshire Peasant-Poet" in Jones, A Century of Sonnets (1866) 58.



Bard of the cottage, and the lowly vale,
And aspects that in rural life belong;
Home-speaker to the heart! We bid thee, hail!
Amid the ranks of poesy and song—
And, thro' thy strict initiation, pray
That equal to thy promise thou be found;
Bearing, with modest mien, the gaze of day;
Thy manners simple, and thy morals sound.
Immortal Burns was taken from the plough,
To thrill the nation with his wondrous pen;
'Twas o'er his "Last" that Bloomfield breath'd the vow,
To prove "the Farmer's Boy" the theme of Men.
These are no more — but Ettrick's Shepherd, still,
Will greet thee, Peasant-bard! with brotherly goodwill.