I Hid my Love

By John Clare 1793–1864 John Clare
I hid my love when young till I
Couldn't bear the buzzing of a fly;
I hid my love to my despite
Till I could not bear to look at light:
I dare not gaze upon her face
But left her memory in each place;
Where'er I saw a wild flower lie
I kissed and bade my love good-bye.

I met her in the greenest dells,
Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells;
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye,
The bee kissed and went singing by,
A sunbeam found a passage there,
A gold chain round her neck so fair;
As secret as the wild bee's song
She lay there all the summer long.

I hid my love in field and town
Till e'en the breeze would knock me down;
The bees seemed singing ballads o'er,
The fly's bass turned a lion's roar;
And even silence found a tongue,
To haunt me all the summer long;
The riddle nature could not prove
Was nothing else but secret love.

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Poet John Clare 1793–1864

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Summer, Living, Love, Landscapes & Pastorals, Youth, Nature, Relationships, Romantic Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Couplet, Rhymed Stanza

 John  Clare

Biography

John Clare was born into a peasant family in Helpston, England. Although he was the son of illiterate parents, Clare received some formal schooling. While earning money through such manual labor as ploughing and threshing, he published several volumes of poetry, including Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. After suffering from delusions, Clare was admitted to an insane asylum where he spent the final 20 years of his life.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Summer, Living, Love, Landscapes & Pastorals, Youth, Nature, Relationships, Romantic Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Couplet, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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