23 June 2009

Mellifluous Mondays: Summertime

It's finally summertime! In honor of the season, and because I am tired of my pasty white skin, I went outside to roast myself yesterday. It worked, and I managed to strike the balance between "not quite tanned" and "horribly sunburned." I do enjoy sunshine . . . and bluebells, and blooming hedges, and bees. In short, all the things mentioned in the poem below.

Unfortunately, its woebegone author is too lovestruck to enjoy summer. Poor fellow. He can't even eat normally; and that is a sad state of affairs, indeed.

"Summer" by John Clare (1855)

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover’s breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover’s breast;
I’ll lean upon her breast and I’ll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o’sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.

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