The Winter’s Come

John Clare wrote this around 1850 in the Northampton asylum.

The Winter’s Come

Sweet chestnuts brown like soleing-leather turn,
The larch trees, like the colour of the sun
That paled sky in the Autumn seem’d to burn.
What a strange scene before us now does run
Red, brown, and yellow, russet, black and dun,
Whitethorn, wild cherry, and the poplar bare,
The sycamore all withered in the sun,
No leaves are now upon the birch-tree there,
All now is stript to the cold wintry air.
See, not one tree but what has lost its leaves,
And yet the landscape wears a pleasing hue,
The winter chill on his cold bed receives
Foliage which once hung o’er the waters blue,
Naked, and bare, the leafless trees repose,
Blue-headed titmouse now seeks maggots rare,
Sluggish and dull the leaf-strewn river flows,
That is not green, which was so through the year,
Dark chill November draweth to a close.
‘Tis winter and I love to read in-doors,
When the moon hangs her crescent up on high
While on the window-shutters the wind roars
And storms like furies pass remorseless by.

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