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Insects
by
John Clare


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These tiny loiterers on the barley's beard,
And happy units of a numerous herd
Of playfellows, the laughing Summer brings,
Mocking the sunshine in their glittering wings,
How merrily they creep, and run, and fly!
No kin they bear to labour's drudgery,
Smoothing the velvet of the pale hedge-rose;
And where they fly for dinner no one knows--
The dew-drops feed them not--they love the shine
Of noon, whose sun may bring them golden wine.
All day they're playing in their Sunday dress--
Till night goes sleep, and they can do no less;
Then, to the heath bell's silken hood they fly,
And like to princes in their slumbers lie,
Secure from night, and dropping dews, and all,
In silken beds and roomy painted hall.
So merrily they spend their summer day,
Now in the cornfields, now the new-mown hay.
One almost fancies that such happy things,
With coloured hoods and richly burnished wings,
Are fairy folk, in splendid masquerade
Disguised, as if of mortal folk afriad,
Keeping their merry pranks a mystery still,
Lest glaring day should do their secrets ill.


 

This poem is in the public domain.

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John Clare (1793 - 1864) was born to a poor, working class family in England. His life as an uneducated peasant farmer was one of constant struggle and hardships, yet his poetry is wonderfully inspiring. John was a "poetic environmentalist," in awe of the natural world, and nature is the theme of much of his work. His poetic talent earned him access to London’s literary circles, though his inferior social standing kept him from ever truly joining its ranks. Tragically, John spent the last twenty years of his life in a mental asylum, though he continued to write and produce poetry that some critics laud as some of the 19th century’s best work. Learn more about John Clare here.

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
Kathleen Carlson:
Delightful perspective on nature.
Posted 08/06/2016 03:29 PM
rhonasheridan:
This poem has stood the sense of time so well! Loved it.
Posted 08/06/2016 08:58 AM
blueskies:
Bravo! Poetic environmentalists! As the earth smiles upon this good ode.
Posted 08/06/2016 08:17 AM
Larry Schug:
The original Merry Pranksters! I wonder if Ken Kesey ever read this.
Posted 08/06/2016 07:28 AM


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