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"
- by John Clare (1793 - 1864), "Clock-a-clay", appears in Life and Remains of John Clare, first published 1873 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012), "Clock-a-clay", published 1966 [voice or unison chorus and piano], from The Insect World, no. 4. [text verified 1 time]
- by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (1889 - 1960), "Clock-a-clay", published 1949 [four-part mixed chorus, baritone solo, and orchestra or piano], from Pastoral Suite [text not verified]
- by Trevor Hold (1939 - 2004), "Clock-a-clay", 1964, first performed 1968 [tenor and instrumental ensemble], from For John Clare [text not verified]
- by James Walter Wilson (b. 1922), "In the cowslip pips I lie", 1968 [soprano or tenor and piano], from Bucolics, no. 1. [text not verified]
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