About this poet

John Clare was born on July 13, 1793, in Northamptonshire, England. Regarded for his poems about nature, his books include Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (Taylor and Hessey, 1820) and The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems (Taylor and Hessey, 1821). He worked as a farm laborer and gardner until his health declined. In 1837, he entered an asylum and remained institutionalized until his death on May 20, 1864.

The Old Year

The Old Year's gone away
     To nothingness and night:
We cannot find him all the day
     Nor hear him in the night:
He left no footstep, mark or place
     In either shade or sun:
The last year he'd a neighbour's face,
     In this he's known by none.

All nothing everywhere:
     Mists we on mornings see
Have more of substance when they're here
     And more of form than he.
He was a friend by every fire,
     In every cot and hall--
A guest to every heart's desire,
     And now he's nought at all.

Old papers thrown away,
     Old garments cast aside,
The talk of yesterday,
     Are things identified;
But time once torn away
     No voices can recall:
The eve of New Year's Day
     Left the Old Year lost to all.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

John Clare

John Clare

John Clare was born on July 13, 1793, in Northamptonshire, England.

by this poet

poem
The holly bush, a sober lump of green,
Shines through the leafless shrubs all brown and grey,
And smiles at winter be it eer so keen
With all the leafy luxury of May.
And O it is delicious, when the day
In winter's loaded garment keenly blows
And turns
poem
Darkness like midnight from the sobbing woods
Clamours with dismal tidings of the rain,
Roaring as rivers breaking loose in floods
To spread and foam and deluge all the plain.
The cotter listens at his door again,
Half doubting whether it be floods or wind,
poem
Now swarthy Summer, by rude health embrowned,
Precedence takes of rosy fingered Spring;
And laughing Joy, with wild flowers prank'd, and crown'd,
      A wild and giddy thing,
And Health robust, from every care unbound,
      Come on the zephyr's wing,
      And cheer the toiling clown.

Happy as holiday-