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Poem by John Clare

First Love

I neer was struck before that hour
   With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
   And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale,
   My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
   My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
   And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
   Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
   Words from my eyes did start
They spoke as chords do from the string,
   And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winters choice?
   Is loves bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
   Not love's appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
   As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
   And can return no more. 

John Clare

John Clare's other poems:
  1. Language Has Not the Power to Speak What Love Indites
  2. Turkeys
  3. Nobody Cometh to Woo
  4. The Soldier
  5. The Gipsy's Camp

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Caroline Norton First Love ("YES, I know that you once were my lover")
  • Frederick Faber First Love ("I have been long without a home")
  • Washington Allston First Love ("Ah me! how hard the task to bear")
  • Louise Moulton First Love ("Time was you heard the music of a sigh")

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