1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Clare

Chauncy Hare Townshend, "Sonnet" Morning Post (15 May 1820).



There is a vivid lightning of the breast,
Flash'd from a spark of kindred poesy,
Which Poets only know, when rapt they see
Some hidden thought — some feeling unexprest
Upon the pages of the bard impress'd,
In all the warmth of Nature's energy.
Oh, CLARE! such answering electricity
Darts from thy numbers to my soul addrest.
Thou hast read Nature with a Poet's eye,
Thou hast felt Nature with a Poet's heart;
[Not the broad page, which all expansed descry,]
But the fine secrets which poetic art
Alone unravels — can alone impart—
And to which none but Poet's souls reply.