I am!

Original Text: 
Frederick Martin, The Life of John Clare (London: Macmillan, 1865). PR 4453 C628 MICR mfc
2My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
3I am the self-consumer of my woes,
4They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
5Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
6And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
7Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
8Into the living sea of waking dreams,
9Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
10But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
11And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
12Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.
13I long for scenes where man has never trod;
14A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
15There to abide with my creator, God,
16And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
17Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
18The grass below--above the vaulted sky.

Notes

1] This belongs to the group of poems written while Clare was confined in the Northampton County Asylum from 1842 until his death in 1864. First published in the Annual Report of the Medical Superintendent of Saint Andrews for the year 1864, but the slightly different accepted text appears first in Martin's Life of Clare, 1865. These, whether rightly or wrongly, are known as his "last lines." Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1865
RPO poem Editors: 
O. H. T. Rudzik
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.619.
Rhyme: