John Clare


The old pond full of flags and fenced around

With trees and bushes trailing to the ground 

The water weeds are all around the brink

And one clear place where cattle go to drink

From year to year the schoolboy thither steals

And muddys round the place to catch the eels

The cowboy often hiding from the flies

Lies there and plaits the rushcap as he lies

The hissing owl sits moping all the day 

And hears his song and never flies away 

The pink nest hangs up upon the branch so thin

The young ones caw and seem as tumbling in

While around them thrums the purple dragon flye

And great white butter flye goes dancing by.


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