John Clare: The Critical Heritage

By Mark Storey | Go to book overview

90.

Thomas Crossley, a sonnet to Clare

1831

Dated 19 December 1831, Eg. 2248, fol. 408.

Thomas Crossley, who lived at Halifax, published Poems, Lyric, Moral and Humorous, 1828, and Flowers of Ebor, 1837 (which included this poem and also a sonnet ‘To Helpstone Cottage, The Birth Place of John Clare’).


Bard of the Pastoral reed! if aught of song,
Or poesy, a stranger should inspire,
(Whose ear, old Ebor’s heathery hills among,
Has heard the magic of thy soothing lyre;)
To thee should swell the chords of harmony,
And to the world those feelings should impart,
Which in his bosom struggle to be free,
And thro’ his soul their quick vibrations dart. —
Oft has he conn’d, with ever-glowing heart,
Thy rural themes beneath the woodland tree,
Till fast the sympathetic tears would start
From Rapture’s fountain. Hence, sweet bard, would he
For thee, (O poor return for gifts like thine!)
Amid thy bays this simple flower entwine.

-217-

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