John Clare

Robert Ilson


'John Clare looked carefully at hedgerows' - Russell Hoban


The rabbits skirling with dismay

In maiming traps, the badgers choked

In hound-sluiced blood : on John Clare's way

These were remarked -- yet also stroked

Were oxeye, woodbine, dogrose ; praised

The housefly in both cot and hall ;

The Question of the Gipsies raised ;

The ploughman, cowboy, milkmaid all

Acknowledged ; bird, beast, wing, hoof, paw

Made truly known by one who felt

That Nature, red in tooth and claw,


Is also bright in plume and pelt.


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