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Poem by John Clare
These children of the sun which summer brings As pastoral minstrels in her merry train Pipe rustic ballads upon busy wings And glad the cotters' quiet toils again. The white-nosed bee that bores its little hole In mortared walls and pipes its symphonies, And never absent couzen, black as coal, That Indian-like bepaints its little thighs, With white and red bedight for holiday, Right earlily a-morn do pipe and play And with their legs stroke slumber from their eyes. And aye so fond they of their singing seem That in their holes abed at close of day They still keep piping in their honey dreams, And larger ones that thrum on ruder pipe Round the sweet smelling closen and rich woods Where tawny white and red flush clover buds Shine bonnily and bean fields blossom ripe, Shed dainty perfumes and give honey food To these sweet poets of the summer fields; Me much delighting as I stroll along The narrow path that hay laid meadow yields, Catching the windings of their wandering song. The black and yellow bumble first on wing To buzz among the sallow's early flowers, Hiding its nest in holes from fickle spring Who stints his rambles with her frequent showers; And one that may for wiser piper pass, In livery dress half sables and half red, Who laps a moss ball in the meadow grass And hoards her stores when April showers have fled; And russet commoner who knows the face Of every blossom that the meadow brings, Starting the traveller to a quicker pace By threatening round his head in many rings: These sweeten summer in their happy glee By giving for her honey melody.
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