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About this poet

John Clare was born on July 13, 1793, in Northamptonshire, England. Regarded for his poems about nature, his books include Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (Taylor and Hessey, 1820) and The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems (Taylor and Hessey, 1821). He worked as a farm laborer and gardner until his health declined. In 1837, he entered an asylum and remained institutionalized until his death on May 20, 1864.

The Old Year

The Old Year's gone away
     To nothingness and night:
We cannot find him all the day
     Nor hear him in the night:
He left no footstep, mark or place
     In either shade or sun:
The last year he'd a neighbour's face,
     In this he's known by none.

All nothing everywhere:
     Mists we on mornings see
Have more of substance when they're here
     And more of form than he.
He was a friend by every fire,
     In every cot and hall--
A guest to every heart's desire,
     And now he's nought at all.

Old papers thrown away,
     Old garments cast aside,
The talk of yesterday,
     Are things identified;
But time once torn away
     No voices can recall:
The eve of New Year's Day
     Left the Old Year lost to all.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

John Clare

John Clare

John Clare was born on July 13, 1793, in Northamptonshire, England.

by this poet

poem
Darkness like midnight from the sobbing woods
Clamours with dismal tidings of the rain,
Roaring as rivers breaking loose in floods
To spread and foam and deluge all the plain.
The cotter listens at his door again,
Half doubting whether it be floods or wind,
poem
Farewell to the bushy clump close to the river
And the flags where the butter-bump hides in for ever; 
Farewell to the weedy nook, hemmed in by waters;
Farewell to the miller's brook and his three bonny daughters;
Farewell to them all while in prison I lie—
In the prison a thrall sees nought but the sky.

Shut
poem
The Spring comes in with all her hues and smells,
In freshness breathing over hills and dells;
O’er woods where May her gorgeous drapery flings,
And meads washed fragrant by their laughing springs.
Fresh are new opened flowers, untouched and free
From the bold