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 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.

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


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