Month of many weathers wildly comes

We’re in the month of March, and so far it has come storming in like a lion with Storm Freya, so maybe it will exit like a lamb! Born in the summer of 1793, John Clare was the son of a farm labourer; he was not well educated but became renowned for his celebrations of the English countryside. He died in 1864, having spent many years in an asylum… but here is a lovely verse from his Shepherd’s Calendar:

March month of ‘many weathers’ wildly comes
In hail and snow and rain and threatning hums
And floods: while often at his cottage door
The shepherd stands to hear the distant roar
Loosd from the rushing mills and river locks
Wi thundering sound and over powering shocks
And headlong hurry thro the meadow brigs
Brushing the leaning sallows fingering twigs
In feathery foam and eddy hissing chase
Rolling a storm oertaken travellers pace
From bank to bank along the meadow leas
Spreading and shining like to little seas
While in the pale sunlight a watery brood
Of swopping white birds flock about the flood
Yet winter seems half weary of its toil
And round the ploughman on the elting soil
Will thread a minutes sunshine wild and warm
Thro the raggd places of the swimming storm
And oft the shepherd in his path will spye
The little daisey in the wet grass lye
That to the peeping sun enlivens gay
Like Labour smiling on an holiday

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