by John Clare (1793 - 1864)

Ploughman singing
Language: English 
 Here morning in the ploughman's songs is met
 Ere yet one footstep shows in all the sky,
 And twilight in the east, a doubt as yet,
 Shows not her sleeve of grey to know her by.
 Woke early, I arose and thought that first
 In winter-time of all the world was I.
 The old owls might have hallooed if they durst,
 But joy just then was up and whistled by
 A merry tune which I had known full long,
 But could not to my [mem'ry]1 wake it back,
 Until the ploughman changed it to the song.
 O happiness, how simple is thy track!
 -Tinged like the willow shoots, the east's young brow
 Glows red and finds thee singing at the plough.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Clare: "memory"


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: David K. Smythe

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 122