The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon

There was a poem written about November in which ever line began ‘No…’, and I always thought it unfair as to me November is a good month. Fireworks and bonfire night, university rag day, Mum’s birthday, getting near Christmas… plenty of things to enjoy in November and like about the month! Two of the lines in that poem by Thomas Hood are:

No company—no nobility—
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease…

Poor old Thomas, I’ve always found plenty of company, warmth and cheer! Contrast that to the evocative and wonderful poem from The Shepherd’s Calendar by John Clare:

The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, ’tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
Had found him sleeping, and supplied his place.
For days the shepherds in the fields may be,
Nor mark a patch of sky — blindfold they trace,
The plains, that seem without a bush or tree,
Whistling aloud by guess, to flocks they cannot see.

The timid hare seems half its fears to lose,
Crouching and sleeping ‘neath its grassy lair,
And scarcely startles, tho’ the shepherd goes
Close by its home, and dogs are barking there;
The wild colt only turns around to stare
At passer by, then knaps his hide again;
And moody crows beside the road, forbear
To fly, tho’ pelted by the passing swain;
Thus day seems turn’d to night, and tries to wake in vain.

John Clare

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