23rd June 1825

[Image: William Hone's Everyday Book]

Wrote to Mrs Emmerson & sent a letter to Hone's Everyday book with a poem which I fatherd on Andrew Marvel.*

* 'Death.'
Why should mans high aspiring mind
Burn in him, with so proud a breath;
When all his haughty views can find
In this world, yields to death;
The fair, the brave, the vain, the wise,
The rich, the poor, and great, and small,
Are each, but worms anatomys,
To strew, his quiet hall.
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Power, may make many earthly gods,
Where gold, and bribery's guilt, prevails
But death's, unwelcome honest odds,
Kicks oer, the unequal scales.
The flatter'd great, may clamours raise
Of Power,—and, their own weakness hide,
But death, shall find unlooked for ways
To end the Farce of pride.—
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An arrow, hurtel'd ere so high
From e'en a giant's sinewy strength,
In time's untraced eternity,
Goes, but a pigmy length—
Nay, whirring from the tortured string,
With all its pomp, of hurried flight,
'Tis, by the Skylarks little wing,
Outmeasured, in its height.
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Just so, mans boasted strength, and power,
Shall fade, before deaths lightest stroke;
Laid lower, than the meanest flower—
Whose pride, oertopt the oak.
And he, who like a blighting blast,
Dispeopled worlds, with wars alarms,
Shall, be himself destroyed at last,
By poor, despised worms.
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Tyrants in vain, their powers secure,
And awe slaves' murmurs, with a frown;
But unawed death, at last is sure,
To sap the Babels down —
A stone thrown upward, to the skye,
Will quickly meet, the ground agen:
So men-gods, of earths vanity,
Shall drop at last, to men;
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And power, and pomp, their all resign
Blood purchased thrones, and banquet Halls.
Fate, waits to sack ambitions shrine
As bare, as prison walls,
Where, the poor suffering wretch bows down,
To laws, a lawless power hath past;—
And pride, and power, and King, and Clown,
Shall be death's slaves at last.
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Time, the prime minister of death,
There's nought, can bribe his honest will
He, stops the richest Tyrants breath,
And lays, his mischief still:
Each wicked scheme for power, all stops,
With grandeurs false, and mock display,
As Eve's shades, from high mountain tops,
Fade with the rest, away.
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Death levels all things, in his march,
Nought, can resist his mighty strength;
The Pallace proud,—triumphal arch,
Shall mete, their shadows length:
The rich, the poor, one common bed,
Shall find, in the unhonoured grave,
Where weeds shall crown alike, the head,
Of Tyrant, and of Slave.

(Signed, in Hone's Everyday Book "Marvel")

21st June 1825

Wrote a letter to Taylor — found a birds nest in the thatch of a hovel gable-end in Billings yard think it a Flycatchers it resembles in color & shape something of the chat or whitethroat or more like the sedgebird than either the female sits hard & the cock feeds her with catterpillars from the leaves of trees.

19th June 1825

[Carry Akroyd's cover for the Carcanet version of 'The Shepherds Calendar' - 2006]
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Recievd a letter from Taylor in which he says that there is twice as much more as he wants for the Shepherds Calendar. A few months back one of his causes for delay was that there was not enough to begin on. Nothing has made a wide difference here by time & left a puzzling Paradox behind it — which tells that he is a very dillatory chap. Recievd a letter from Mrs Emmerson with a Parcel containing a present of a waistcoat & some fine Polyanthus Brompton Stock & Geranium Seed.
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To Taylor
Addressed; John Taylor Esq, 15 Waterloo Place, Pall Mall,London.
[sent] June 19 -25

my dear taylor
I have been puzzling over the matter in your last letter & cannot tell in which opinion to agree exactly but I will say thus much & leave you to deside yourself. It appears to me that the insertion of the Descriptive poems woud only make a very vague book among the generality of readers & ryhmers & woud leave them with an unfavourable opinion of the book at the end & on the other hand the mere insertion of the Naratives or Tales woud'not correspond with the title—all I can say is that I think the best woud be to select the best parts of the descriptive pieces as Introductions to the Months & then let the story follow that was judged to be most suitable & in some cases were a Story was not to be had the whole of the Descriptive Poem if good might, be inserted only such for instance as 'Spring' for April which I consider one of my best Poems when it has undergone your pruning for it wants a good deal to avoid repetitions—I will leave the rest to your Judgment—

The two tales that I had inserted in my former plan of 'Fate of Genius' & 'The Vicar' I consider them as not applicable to- the present Title & if you think the same they might be cast out & leave room for others & were the descriptive pieces contain nothing worth extracting then the Story may fill up the month of itself but I woud always get a character of the. month were I coud—the insertion of the Cottage Evening' for January by itself & the 'Valentine day' for February without the descriptions are very good improvements as I think for there is nothing in the Description for Feby that is worth preserving but I think the one for March is better as there are images in it not noticd before by me or anyone else as I am acquainted with & one of these is the description of the Droves of Wild Geese that are very charactistic companions of this Month but I will leave these things to your reason the 'Sorrows of Love' will come in for March very well—'Cottage Stories' woud certainly have been a fair title & I think a better title than the Calender but it has been made use of by a Poetess here (at Oakham) name Anna Adcock who a little while back publishd a Volume of very middling poems under that Title which was printed in London by I forget whom—

There is another new poet started up here & I was favoured with a sight of his M.S.S. a little while back his longest poem is entitled 'Memory's Musings' it reads smooth enough but there is nothing striking or new in his images or expressions his name is Kenrick the son of Captain Kenrick of Alwalton Hall—

I hear he is about something of a good length in blank verse but I am sorry to say I have no expectations to indulge in—I think I have about nine neighbours Poets who have printed their trifles by subscription—the first of these was an oldish man named Messing who wrote "The Rural Walks" & another thing which I have forgotten then up started two in a bunch at Peterbro name Rose & Wilkinson the first was a schoolmaster he published a, version of "Ossian in Ryhme" & the others Poem was 'Saint John the first was like the ravings of a madman - full of sound & fury signifying nothing' & the other was dull-& tame in addressing the Lark which 'at heavens gate sings' & was Miltons at first he made a terrible blunder addressing it as a male at the beginning & as a female in the end Artis 'from this always called him the 'Hermaphra-dite' after this started a Parish Clerk-name Banton who had the impudence to style his poems 'Visits from the Muses' & Dedicated it to the 'University of Cambridge' because two or three boys (the sons of Clergymen round his own village) had Subscribed to it—another is Stratton the best in the bunch whose consiet stopt him from being something better than he is—his book was dedicated to Lord Russel it contains a curious medley of pretending love for ryhme & simplicity & a deal of laughable absurdity is the consequence of the couple

There are 3 or 4 more but I am getting to the end of the sheet with a digression that is no part of the story so I will end'—I shall be urged to continue the stories for children by your opinion but they woud have been done already if you had told me before—I have got only some early fragments beside, the Grasshopper, done yet they are 'Flower gathering' 'The Butterfiye's Dream. 'The Moth & the Faireys' & two or three more 'that have got no further then the titles'—I am very poorly & Patty is very ill the children are something better that is they are playing about agen & only drouk in the evening

I am Yours &c &c
john clare

13th June 1825

My dear Eliza is 3 years old today I feel anxious to insert these memorandums of my affections as Memory though a secondary is the soul of time & life the principal but its shadow—Observed an Eclipse or some other phenomenon of the Sun this morning not noticed in the Almanac. I first saw it about half past 4 & it continued till after 5 it had exactly the same appearance as an Eclipse & I believe it was nothing else.

Note: The calendar of eclipses shows that there was an eclipse on the 16th June, not the 13th as Clare records. As there is a short gap in Clare's entries from the 13th to the 19th, was this a simple mistake on his part?

10th June 1825

Saw the blue-grey or lead-colord Fly-catcher for the first time this season they are calld 'Egypt Birds' by the common people from their note which seems to resemble the sound of the word 'Egypt' they build in old walls like the redstart & Grey Wagtail.

9th June 1825

[A white peony]

Recievd a letter from Mrs Emmerson & wrote an answer to it—Returned the proofs of January & the Broken Heart & wrote to Taylor—sent some flowers to Mrs Bellairs & am promised the 'Scarlet Anemonie' 'White Peony' & Pink Brompton Stocks

8th June 1825

Poor old Coz Day the Mole-Catcher dyd tonight after a short illness he has been a tenant of the meadows & fields for half-a Century

7th June 1825

Recievd another parcel from Hessey with another proof of the Poems Viz the 'Sorrows of Love'* Taylor has cut out a good deal & some things which I think might have stood. The parcel also brought a present of Ayton's Essays- a young writer of great promise which was killed in the bud these Essay's are exellent & contain a great deal more of the human heart than an affectedly written book with that Title.

* Sorrows of Love describes the final sufferings of a maiden whose heart has been won and trifled with by:

"A clown as wild as young colts free from plough
Who was a prison in a marriage vow"

6th June 1825

[Image: Some of Carry Akroyd's swallows]

Went to see Mrs Bellairs's garden at Wood-croft with Anna saw a Scarlet Anemonie & white peony both very handsome. The Mote round the Garden has a very fine effect & the long Bridges that cross it made of planks & railed with crooked pieces of oak. I thought of the time of Cromwell while walking about it & felt the difference. Swallows had several nests under the bridge

5th June 1825

[Pulmonaria, Lungwort or Jerusalem Cowslip flower]

Returned the proof to Hessey wrote a note to Hessey & one to Mrs Wright of Clapham accompanied with some flowers viz—'Lilies of the Valley' 'Shepherds Goldilocks' 'Jerusalem Cowslips' 'Yellow flowerd yarrow' 'Lilac flowerd Cranesbill' 'Black flowered Cranesbill' & 'Pencil flowered Do. —Read a continuation of a good paper in the London on 'A poor Students struggles thro Cambridge &c' the rest are moderates among the middlings
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I Wonder, did Clare actually send the flowers? If so, how? Must have been an interesting package!
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The story is told (somewhat apocryphal I think) that while Mary was on her way to Jerusalem to present Jesus in the temple she sat down at the edge of the road to nurse her Son. The spotted cowslip was growing at her feet and its blooms turned blue as they reflected the blue of the Blessed Mother's eyes. Her eyes filled with tears as she thought of the poverty and future suffering of her Child and the buds of the flowers grew pink as her eyes reddened from weeping. When she moved the Infant Jesus from her breast a few drops of her milk fell on the plant, spotting the leaves which have ever since borne the white markings of her milk.
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I grow them in my garden...

4th June 1825

[Image: Orchids at Swaddywell in 2006]
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Saw 3 fellows at the end of Royce Wood who I found were laying out the plan for an 'Iron railway' from Manchester to London it is to cross over Round Oak Spring by Royce Wood corner for Woodcroft Castle I little thought that fresh intrusions would interrupt & spoil my solitudes after the Enclosure they will despoil a boggy place that is famous for Orchises at Royce Wood end.

3rd June 1825

Finishd planting my Auriculas. Went a-botanizing after ferns & orchises & caught a cold in the wet grass which has made me as bad as ever. Got the tune of 'Highland Mary' from Wisdom Smith a gipsey & pricked another sweet tune without name as he fiddled it.

2nd June 1825

[Clare's Cottage in Helpston]

This is my darling Anna's birthday who is 5 years old, a weakling flower fast fading in the bud — withering, untimely. Recievd a parcel from Hessey with the Mag: & the first proof agen corrected for good with a note from Hessey & a long letter from Taylor very kindly worded in which he speaks of dissolving partnership with Hessey on Midsummer next.