In doubt I lived in doubt I dye
Nor shrink the dark abyss to try But undismayed I meet - eternity
The first line is natural enough but the rest is a rash courage in such a situation.
From Monday, 6th Sept 1824 until Sunday, 11th Sept 1825, Clare kept a Journal. Here is Ronnie Blythe on the subject... "I am writing about the more or less penniless John Clare, whose publishers have sent him a dateless 'Student’s Journal' in which they hope he will make notes for a natural history book... It has no printed dates; so Clare can start it in September".