A Poem For Sunday


“A Walk in the Forest” by John Clare (1793-1864):

I love the forest and its airy bounds
Where friendly Campbell takes his daily rounds,
I love the breakneck hills that headlong go
And leave me high and half the world below,
I love to see the Beach Hill mounting high,
The brook without a bridge and nearly dry.
There’s Bucket’s Hill, a place of furze and clouds,
Which evening in a golden blaze enshrouds:
I hear the cows go home with tinkling bell
And see the woodman in the forest dwell,
Whose dog runs eager where the rabbit’s gone—
He eats the grass, then kicks and hurries on,
Then scrapes for hoarded bone and tries to play
And barks at larger dogs and runs away.

(From “I Am”: The Selected Poetry of John Clare, edited by Jonathan Bate © 2003 by Jonathan Bate. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Photo by Chris Morris)