TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // The Sailor-Boy by John Clare

Tis three years and a quarter since I left my own fireside
To go aboard a ship through love, and plough the ocean wide.
I crossed my native fields, where the scarlet poppies grew,
And the groundlark left his nest like a neighbour which I knew.

The pigeons from the dove cote cooed over the old lane,
The crow flocks from the oakwood went flopping oer the grain;
Like lots of dear old neighbours whom I shall see no more
They greeted me that morning I left the English shore.

The sun was just a-rising above the heath of furze,
And the shadows grow to giants; that bright ball never stirs:
There the shepherds lay with their dogs by their side,
And they started up and barked as my shadow they espied.

A maid of early morning twirled her mop upon the moor;
I wished her my farewell before she closed the door.
My friends I left behind me for other places new,
Crows and pigeons all were strangers as oer my head they flew.

Trees and bushes were all strangers, the hedges and the lanes,
The steeples and the houses and broad untrodden plains.
I passed the pretty milkmaid with her red and rosy face;
I knew not where I met her, I was strange to the place.

At last I saw the ocean, a pleasing sight to me:
I stood upon the shore of a mighty glorious sea.
The waves in easy motion went rolling on their way,
English colours were a-flying where the British squadron lay.

I left my honest parents, the church clock and the village;
I left the lads and lasses, the labour and the tillage;
To plough the briny ocean, which soon became my joy–
I sat and sang among the shrouds, a lonely sailor-boy.

 

by JOHN CLARE (1793-1864)
Public Domain Poetry

13 thoughts on “TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // The Sailor-Boy by John Clare

  1. Thank you for stopping by the Deskraven Mental Health Forum Blog! In return, I set out to view some your work. The truth is, I have more than 70 poems but I’m too terrified to publish them without first editing them. Perhaps because they were written from within my teenage angst. Thank you for the mid-day inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This poetry is new to me and I was very surprised at the emotions it stirred within and without. Loneliness the key one, but also excitement and a sense of peaceful adventure. Thank you so very much for sharing. Sending you love ❤️.

    Liked by 4 people

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