III. The Seasons
John Clare (1793–1864)
I LOVE at eventide to walk alone,
Down narrow glens, o’erhung with dewy thorn,
Where from the long grass underneath, the snail,
Jet black, creeps out, and sprouts his timid horn.
I love to muse o’er meadows newly mown,
Where withering grass perfumes the sultry air;
Where bees search round, with sad and weary drone,
In vain, for flowers that bloomed but newly there;
While in the juicy corn the hidden quail
Cries, “Wet my foot;” and, hid as thoughts unborn,
The fairy-like and seldom-seen land-rail
Utters “Craik, craik,” like voices underground,
Right glad to meet the evening’s dewy veil,
And see the light fade into gloom around.