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John Clare on summer showers

John Clare (1793-1864), the son of a British village laborer, found in poetry a kind of blessed alternative to the poverty, ill health, and mental disturbance of his everyday life. Here, in ``Song,'' he displays the simple, ``I love'' response to nature that was a characteristic of his work. He wrote to his son: ``Birds bees trees flowers all talked to me incessantly louder than the busy hum of men.'' The rain is come in misty showers, The landscape lies in shrouds; Patches of sunshine like to flowers Fall down between the clouds And gild the earth, elsewhere so cold, With shreds like flowers of purest gold. And now it sweeps along the hills Just like a falling cloud, The cornfields into silence stills Where misty moisture shrouds; And now a darker cloud sweeps o'er, The rain drops faster than before. The cattle graze along the ground, The lark she wets her wings And chatters as she whirls around, Then to the wet corn sings, And hides upon her twitchy nest, Refreshed, with wet and speckled breast. And I the calm delight embrace To walk along the fields And feel the rain drop in my face That sweetest pleasure yields; They come from heaven and there the Free Sends down his blessings upon me. I love to walk in summer shower When the rain falls gently down, I love to walk a leisure hour A distance from the town, To see the drops on bushes hing And blackbirds prune a dabbled wing.

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