The Dying Child

Original Text: 
Frederick Martin, The Life of John Clare (London: Macmillan, 1865): the last of four volumes of poems Clare had published during his lifetime. PR 4453 C628 MICR mfc
2      For he loved the time too well.
3His little hands, when flowers were seen,
4      Were held for the bluebell,
5      As he was carried o'er the green.
6His eye glanced at the white-nosed bee;
7      He knew those children of the spring:
8When he was well and on the lea
9      He held one in his hands to sing,
10      Which filled his heart with glee.
11Infants, the children of the spring!
12      How can an infant die
13When butterflies are on the wing,
14      Green grass, and such a sky?
15      How can they die at spring?
16He held his hands for daisies white,
17      And then for violets blue,
18And took them all to bed at night
19      That in the green fields grew,
20      As childhood's sweet delight.
21And then he shut his little eyes,
22      And flowers would notice not;
23Birds' nests and eggs caused no surprise,
24      He now no blossoms got;
25      They met with plaintive sighs.
26When winter came and blasts did sigh,
27      And bare were plain and tree,
28As he for ease in bed did lie
29      His soul seemed with the free,
30      He died so quietly.


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. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
O. H. T. Rudzik
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.617.