I Hid my Love

Original Text: 
Frederick Martin, The Life of John Clare (London: Macmillan, 1865). PR 4453 C628 MICR mfc
2Couldn't bear the buzzing of a fly;
3I hid my love to my despite
4Till I could not bear to look at light:
5I dare not gaze upon her face
6But left her memory in each place;
7Where'er I saw a wild flower lie
8I kissed and bade my love good-bye.
9I met her in the greenest dells,
10Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells;
11The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye,
12The bee kissed and went singing by,
13A sunbeam found a passage there,
14A gold chain round her neck so fair;
15As secret as the wild bee's song
16She lay there all the summer long.
17I hid my love in field and town
18Till e'en the breeze would knock me down;
19The bees seemed singing ballads o'er,
20The fly's bass turned a lion's roar;
21And even silence found a tongue,
22To haunt me all the summer long;
23The riddle nature could not prove
24Was nothing else but secret love.


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
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
O. H. T. Rudzik
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.618.