I Hid My Love (John Clare)

I Hid my Love

By John Clare

I hid my love when young till I
Couldn’t bear the buzzing of a fly;
I hid my love to my despite
Till I could not bear to look at light:
I dare not gaze upon her face
But left her memory in each place;
Where’er I saw a wild flower lie
I kissed and bade my love good-bye.

I met her in the greenest dells,
Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells;
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye,
The bee kissed and went singing by,
A sunbeam found a passage there,
A gold chain round her neck so fair;
As secret as the wild bee’s song
She lay there all the summer long.

I hid my love in field and town
Till e’en the breeze would knock me down;
The bees seemed singing ballads o’er,
The fly’s bass turned a lion’s roar;
And even silence found a tongue,
To haunt me all the summer long;
The riddle nature could not prove
Was nothing else but secret love.


To my secret love,

I need to stop running back to you in my mind all the time, but I have never been able do that since I saw you for the first time, in the wild flower fields on that summer night. I tried to stop loving you, I really did, but those flies buzzing in the sky, waking me on those sleepless nights where only the beams of the sun could give me a sense of real life, just these simple things, you’re not easy to forget. How could I forget you with your eyes that could swallow stars, universes and galaxies. How am I supposed to hide my love? But all those times I actually did,  I was too shy to tell you how I felt, sometimes even  to scared to look upon your  lovely face, so instead I hid my love behind soft smiles and hopeful hellos. And with each wild flower that would grow, I would say to myself that I should let you go.

Do you actually remember the first time we actually talked without your crowd of friends? I reckon you don’t, because in my mind it was the foremost chapter of my story, yet for you just another page. You see, I didn’t fall in love with you once, but I fall in love with every single time you look at me. But even harder that summer morning, when the sun just started to rise, the dewdrops pearled the wood bluebells and the bees started to sing their hymn. And you asked, ‘how do I look?’ While combing nervously a hand through your golden hair. And I said, ‘the way the summer breeze kisses your bright blue eyes and how these morning sunbeams light up your hair and just the fact that you are so unknowing of your alluring appearance, makes you the most beautiful. But it only came out as ‘you look fine’.

And here I am now, writing this letter in the wild flower fields, not knowing that this spark inside my frozen body could turn into a burning fire. I never thought I would love you this much, and I never planned to have you in my mind this often. And all those twirling thoughts in my head, it makes me go mad. It’s like the breeze, – that once kissed your eyes – could knock me down. And the bees – that once sang a pleasing song –  could make me a deaf man blinded by love. This whole summer I’ve been wondering what you’d hear in the silence between us.

You were both everything I could ever want, and nothing I could ever have.

I really wish you all the happiness in the world, but if there’s any chance I could be that happiness, let me know.

Yours sincerely,


by Anonymous


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