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John Clare wurde zu Helpstone, einem Dorfe in der Nähe von Peterborough 1793 von armen Eltern geboren, welche dem Bauernstande angehörten. Von seinem geringen Erwerb als Ackerjunge bestritt er das Schulgeld, und erlangte so einige Bildung. Im 13. Jahre ging er an einem schönen Morgen in die Stadt Stamford, 6–7 Meilen von seinem Geburtsorte, um sich Thomson's Seasons zu kaufen. Auf seinem Rückwege durch den herrlichen Burghley Park, dichtete er sein erstes Gedicht „Morning Walk“, dem bald ein zweites, „Evening Walk“ und einige andre Gedichte folgten. 1817 veröffentlichte er einen Band Gedichte, unter dem Titel: a Collection of Original Trifles, und 1820 erschienen Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, by John Člare, a Northamshire peasant. Die liter. Zeitschriften beurtheilten seine Leistungen sehr günstig. So gelangte Clare bald zu einigem Vermögen. 1824 trat er wiederum als Dichter mit folgendem Werke auf: The Village Minstrel and other Poems, in zwei Bänden, das ihn zu dem Rufe eines wahren Dichters erhob. Clare's Glück ging indess schnell vorüber, während ihm sein Dichterruf für alle Zeiten bleiben wird. Er liess sich in Speculationen mit Pachtungen ein, verlor sein Vermögen und versank in Schwermuth. Vor wenigen Jahren lebte er noch, aber hoffnungslos, doch nicht ohne alle Theilnahme an den Zeitereignissen.

John Clare ist ein wahrer Naturdichter und einer der besten Schilderer ländlicher Scenen und Gegenden. Seine Dichtungen sind der unmittelbare Erguss inniger Empfindungen, wie sie auf Fluren und Spaziergängen in ihm hervorgerufen wurden.

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Roaming while the dewy fields

There lay her shining eggs as bright as ’Neath their morning burthen lean,

flowers, While its crop my searches shields, Jnk-spotted over, shells of green and blue: Sweet I scent the blossomed bean.

And there I witnessed in the summer hours, A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly,

Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky. Making oft remarking stops;

Watching tiny nameless things
Climb the grass's spiry tops
Ere they try their gauzy wings.

Dawnings of Genius.
So emerging into light,
From the ignorant and vain

In those low paths which poverty surrounds, Fearful genius takes her flight,

The rough rude ploughman, off his fallow Skimming o'er the lowly plain.

grounds (That necessary tool of wealth and pride), While moiled and sweating, by some pas

ture's side,
Will often stoop, inquisitive to trace

The opening beauties of a daisy's face;
The Primrose. – A Sonnet. Oft will he witness, with admiring eyes,

The brook's sweet dimples o'er the pebbles Welcome, pale primrose! starting up between

rise; Dead matted leaves of ash and oak that And often bent, as o'er some magic spell,


He'll pause and pick his shapëa stone and The every lawn, the wood, and spinney

shell: through,

Raptures the while his inward powers in'Mid creeping moss and ivy's darker green;

flame, How much thy presence beautifies the And joys delight him which he cannot name;


Ideas picture pleasing views to mind, How sweet thy modest unaffected pride

For which his language can no utterance Glows on the sunny bank and wood's warm

side! And where thy fairy flowers in groups are Unfold new charms, and witness more delight;

Increasing beauties, freshening on his sight, found,

So while the present please, the past decay, The schoolboy roams enchantedly along, And in each other, losing, melt away. Plucking the fairest with a rude delight:

Thus pausing wild on all he saunters by, While the meek shepherd stops his simple He feels enraptured, though he knows not song,

why; To gaze a moment on the pleasing sight; And hums and mutters o'er his joys in vain, O’erjoyed to see the flowers that truly bring

And dwells on something which he can't The welcome news of sweet returning spring.

explain. The bursts thought with which his soul's


Are bred one moment, and are gone the next; The Thrush's Nest A Sonnet.

Yet still the heart will kindling sparks retain,

And thoughts will rise, and Fancy strive again. Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush So have I marked the dying ember's light,

That overhung a molehill large and round, When on the hearth it fainted from my sight, I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush With glimmering glow oft redden up again, Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the And sparks crack brightening into life in sound

vain; With joy — and oft an unintruding guest,

Still lingering out its kindling hope to rise I watched her secret toils from day to day; Till faint, and fainting, the last twinkle dies. How true she warped the moss to form her Dim burns the soul, and throbs the fluttera nest,

ing heart, And modelled it within with wood and Its painful pleasing feelings to impart;


Till by successless sallies wearied quite, And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,The memory fails, and Fancy takes her flight:


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The wick, confined within its socket, dies, In thy still hour how dearly I delight
Borne down and smothered in a thousand To rest my weary bones, from labour free;


In lone spots, out of hearing, out of sight,
To sigh day's smothered pains; and pause

on thee,

Bedecking dangling brier and ivied tree, A Sonnet to the Glow-worm.

Or diamonds tipping on the grassy spear;

Thy pale-faced glimmering light I love to see, Tasteful illumination of the night,

Gilding and glistering in the dewdrop near :Bright scattered, twinkling star of spangled o still-hour's mate! my easing heart sobs earth!

free, Hail to the nameless coloured dark and light, While tiny bents low bend with many an The witching nurse of the illumined birth.

added tear.

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Robert Pollok ward zu Muirhouse, in dem Kirchspiele Eaglesham, Renfrewshire, im Jahre 4799 geboren. Nach einer gewöhnlichen Vorbildung bezog er die Universität zu Glasgow, wo er Theologie studirte. Nachdem er die Hochschule einige Zeit verlassen, schrieb er „Tales of the Covenanters in Prosa, welche anonym erschienen. Durch anhaltende Studien hatte seine Gesundheit sehr gelitten, und ungeachtet seines bedenklichen Gesundheitszustandes wurde er im Frühling 1827 Licentiat, starb aber schon am 7. September desselben Jahres zu Shirley Common, in der Nähe von Southampton, wohin er sich kurz zuvor in der Hoffnung begeben hatte, dass die mildere Luft jenes Ortes seinen leidenden Zustand erträglicher machen würde.

Als Dichter hat Pollok seinen Ruf durch ein umfassendes Gedicht: The Course of Time, welches 1827 erschien, begründet; es erhielt namentlich in Schottland grossen Beifall unter dem Volke. Dieses Gedicht, in zehn Bücher abgetheilt, und in einem Style geschrieben, der bald Milton's hohen Schwung nachahmt, bald an Blair und Young erinnert, schildert das geistige Leben und das Schicksal des Menschen, und beleuchtet die Wirkungen der Tugend und des Lasters. Oft ist es in einem rauhen, schwülstigen und heftigen Tone gehalten und von einer düstern Frömmigkeit entstellt, welche den Leser zurückstösst, ungeachtet der vielen glänzenden Stellen und Bilder, die durch das ganze Werk ausgestreut sind. Das Ganze zeigt von seltener Geisteskraft und Entschiedenheit des Cha

Das rege Interesse, welches die Oeffentlichkeit an diesem Dichter nahm, dessen Gedichte 18 Auflagen erlebten, führte zu einer Denkschrift seines Lebens, welche 1843 erschien. Auch setzten ihm seine Verehrer einen Obelisk von Granit, welcher des Dichters Grab bezeichnet.



Discerner of the ripest grapes of joy

She gathered and selected with her hand, Hail love, first love, thou word that sums all All finest relishes, all fairest sights,


All rarest odours, all divinest sounds,
The sparkling cream of all Time's blessedness, All thoughts, all feelings dearest to the soul:
The silken down of happiness complete! And brought the holy mixture home, and filled

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The heart with all superlatives of bliss. 10 had her lover seen her thus alone,
But who would that expound, which words Thus holy, wrestling thus, and all for him!

transcends, Nor did he not: for ofttimes Providence Must talk in vain. Behold a meeting scene With unexpected joy the fervent prayer Of early love, and thence infer its worth. Of faith surprised. Returned from long delay,

It was an eve of autumn's holiest mood. With glory crowned of righteous actions The corn-fields, bathed in Cynthia's silver

won, light,

The sacred thorn, to memory dear, first Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand;

sought And all the winds slept soundly. Nature The youth, and found it at the happy hour


Just when the damsel kneeled herself to pray. In silent contemplation to adore

Wrapped in devotion, pleading with her Its Maker. Now and then the aged leaf

God, Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground; She saw him not, heard not his foot apAnd, as it fell, bade man think on his end.

proach. On vale and lake, on wood and mountain All holy images seemed too impure


To emblem her he saw. A seraph kneeled, With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly Beseeching for his ward before the throne,

Thought, Seemed fittest, pleased him best. Sweet was Conversing with itself. Vesper looked forth

the thought! From out her western hermitage, and smiled; But sweeter still the kind remembrance And up the east, unclouded, rode the moon

came, With all her stars, gazing on earth intense, That she was flesh and blood formed for As if she saw some wonder working there.

himself, Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene, The plighted partner of his future life. When, by a hermit thorn that on the hill And as they met, embraced, and sat emHad seen a hundred flowery ages pass,

A damsel kneeled to offer up her prayer – In woody chambers of the starry night,
Her prayer nightly offered, nightly heard. Spirits of love about them ministered,
This ancient thorn had been the meeting And God approving, blessed the holy joy!

Of love, before his country's voice had called
The ardent youth to fields of honour far
Beyond the wave: and hither now repaired,
Nightly, the maid, by God's all-seeing eye
Seen only, while she sought this boon alone -
Her lover's safety, and his quick return'.
In holy, humble attitude she kneeled,

And to her bosom, fair as moonbeam,


Whether in crowds or solitudes, in streets One hand, the other lifted up to heaven. Or shady groves, dwelt Happiness, it seems Her eye, upturned, bright as the star of morn, In vain to ask; her nature makes it vain; As violet meek, excessive ardour streamed, Though poets much, and hermits, talked and Wafting away her earnest heart to God.

sung Her voice, scarce uttered, soft as Zephyr Of brooks and cristal founts, and weeping sighs

dews, On morning's lily cheek, though soft and And myrtle bowers, and solitary vales,


And with the nymph made assignation there, Yet heard in heaven, heard at the mercy-seat. And wooed her with the love-sick oaten A tear-drop wandered on her lovely face ;

reed; It was a tear of faith and holy fear, And sages too, although less positive, Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-time Advised their sons to court her in the On yonder willows by the stream of life.

shade. On her the moon looked steadfastly; the Delirious babble all! Was happiness,


Was self-approving, God approving joy, That circle nightly round the eternal throne In drops of dew, however pure? in gales, Glanced down, well pleased; and everlasting However sweet? in wells, however clear?


Or groves, however thick with verdant Gave gracious audience to her prayer sincere.



True, these were of themselves exceeding Nor happy only, but the cause of joy,


Which those who never tasted always How fair at morn and even! worthy the

What tongue!

no tongue shall tell what Of loftiest mind, and gave, when all within

bliss o'erflowed Was right, a feast of overflowing bliss; The mother's tender heart while round her But were the occasion, not the cause of joy.

hung They waked the native fountains of the soul The offspring of her love, and lisped her Which slept before, and stirred the holy tides

name Of feeling up, giving the heart to drink As living jewels dropped unstained from From its own treasures draughts of perfect


That made her fairer far, and sweeter seem The Christian faith, which better knew Than every ornament of costliest hue!

the heart

And who hath not been ravished, as she Of man, him thither sent for peace, and thus !

passed Declared: Who finds it, let him find it there; With all her playful band of little ones, Who finds it not, for ever let him seek Like Luna with her daughters of the sky, In vain; 'tis God's most holy, changeless will. Walking in matron majesty and grace ?

True Happiness had no localities, All who had hearts here pleasure found: and No tones provincial, no peculiar garb.

oft Where Duty went, she went, with Justice Have I, when tired with heavy task, for tasks


Were heavy in the world below, relaxed And went with Meekness, Charity, and Love. My weary thoughts among their guiltless Where'er a tear was dried, a wounded heart

sports, Bound up, a bruised spirit with the dew And led them by their hands a-field, Of sympathy anointed, or a pang

And watch them run and crop the tempting Of honest suffering soothed, or injury

flower Repeated oft, as oft by love forgiven; Which oft, unasked, they brought me, and Where'er an evil passion was subdued,

bestowed Or Virtue's feeble embers fanned; where'er With simling face, that waited for a look A sin was heartily abjured and left;

Of praise and answered curious questions, Where'er a pious act was done, or breathed

put A pious prayer, or wished a pious wish; In much simplicity, but ill to solve; There was a high and holy place, a spot And heard their observations strangeand new; Of sacred light, a most religious fane, And settled whiles their little quarrels, soon Where Happiness, descending, sat and smiled. Ending in peace, and soon forgot in love.

But there apart, in sacred memory lives And still I looked upon their loveliness, The morn of life, first morn of endless days, And sought through nature for similitudes Most joyful morn! Nor yet for nought the joy. Of perfect beauty, innocence, and bliss, A being of eternal date commenced, And fairest imagery around me thronged; A young immortal then was born! And who Dewdrops at day-spring on a seraph's locks, Shall tell what strange variety of bliss Roses that bathe about the well of life, Burst on the infant soul, when first it looked Young Loves, young Hopes, dancing on Abroad on God's creation fair, and saw

morning's cheek, The glorious earth and glorious heaven, and Gems leaping in the coronet of Love!


So beautiful, so full of life, they seemed Of man sublime, and saw all new, and felt As made entire of beams of angels' eyes. All new! when thought awoke, thought Gay, guileless, sportive, lovely little things!

Playing around the den of sorrow, clad To sleep! when first it saw, heard, reasoned, In smiles, believing in their fairy hopes,


And thinking man and woman true! all And triumphed in the warmth of conscious

joy, life!

Happy all day, and happy all the night!

never more

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