by John Clare (1793 - 1864)

In the cowslip pips I lie
Language: English 
In the cowslip pips I lie,
Hidden from a buzzing fly,
While green grass beneath me lies,
Pearled with dew like fishes' eyes
Here I lie, a clock-a-clay,
Waiting for the time of day.

While [the]1 forest quakes surprise,
And the wild wind sobs and sighs,
My home rocks as like to fall,
On its pillar green and tall,
While the pattering rain drives by,
Clock-a-clay keeps warm and dry.

Day by day and night by night,
All the week I hide from sight,
In the cowslip pips I lie,
In rain and dew still warm and dry,
Day and night and night and day,
Red, black-spotted clock-a-clay.

My home shakes in wind and showers,
Pale green pillar topped with flowers,
Bending at the wild wind's breath,
Till I touch the grass beneath;
Here I live, lone clock-a-clay,
Watching for the time of day.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: clock-a-clay is an old name for the ladybird.
1 Bennett: "grassy"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 144