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 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 text with footnotes
Note: clock-a-clay is an old name for the ladybird.
- 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