"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

17 September 2016



The shepherd’s hut, propt by the double ash,
   Huge in its bulk and old in mossy age,
Shadowing the dammed-up brook, where, plash and plash,
   The little mills did younkers’ ears engage—
Delightful hut, rude as romances old,
   Where huge old stones make each an easy chair,
With brake and fern for luxuries manifold,
   And flint and steel are all that Want needs there.
The light was struck, and then the happy ring
   Crouched round the blaze—O those were happy times!
Some telling tales, and others urged to sing
   Themes of old things, in rude yet feeling rhymes,
That raised the laugh, or stirred the stifled sigh,
Till Pity listened in each vacant eye.
 Those rude old tales!—man’s memory augurs ill,
   Thus to forget the fragments of old days,
Those long old songs;—their sweetness haunts me still,
   Nor did they perish for my lack of praise.
But old disciples of the pasture sward,
   Rude chroniclers of ancient minstrelsy,
The shepherds, vanished all; and Disregard
   Left their old music, like a vagrant bee,
For summer’s breeze to murmur o’er, and die.
Still in these spots my Mind, and Ear, and Eye,
   Turn listeners—till the very wind prolongs
The theme, as wishing, in its depths of joy,
   To recollect the music of old songs,
And meet the hut that blessed me when a boy.

John Clare

It was a grand summer.

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