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,

John

by Anonymous

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The Dying Child (John Clare)

The Dying Child

by John Clare

He could not die when trees were green,
For he loved the time too well.
His little hands, when flowers were seen,
Were held for the bluebell,
As he was carried o’er the green.

His eye glanced at the white-nosed bee;
He knew those children of the spring:
When he was well and on the lea
He held one in his hands to sing,
Which filled his heart with glee.

Infants, the children of the spring!
How can an infant die
When butterflies are on the wing,
Green grass, and such a sky?
How can they die at spring?

He held his hands for daisies white,
And then for violets blue,
And took them all to bed at night
That in the green fields grew,
As childhood’s sweet delight.

And then he shut his little eyes,
And flowers would notice not;
Birds’ nests and eggs caused no surprise,
He now no blossoms got;
They met with plaintive sighs.

When winter came and blasts did sigh,
And bare were plain and tree,
As he for ease in bed did lie
His soul seemed with the free,
He died so quietly.

_____________________________________________________

 

My young little boy; he was only four, when he first got ill. It was a beautiful day last May, last spring. Wherever he would go, he was surrounded by trees that were just growing their first blossoms, and beautiful flowers – his favourites being the bluebells that grew in the field just behind our house – which he would try to grasp as he was carried through the field.

In his last months, when he had his good days, and we were out on the paddock, he would love to see the bees up in the sky, and he would hold one in his hands and sing a song, that cheered him up immediately. It melted my heart to see that the joy of spring was of such great importance to him.

These little children, meant to be enjoying their youthful time in spring, how could they possibly die, when the butterflies flutter all around, when the grass is green and the sky is blue as never seen before? How could they die during spring?

My little son would pick the flowers that grew in the fields, every single year. He picked the white daisies, and the blue violets, and took them all up to his room. Such little things can mean so much, it’s the joy that childhood brings.

And then he closed his little eyes, yet everything outside stayed the same. The flowers kept dancing in the wind, and the birds still quietly sat in their nests, watching over their eggs, while my son was missing the spirit of life.

But when winter came, it was cold outside – the flowers were dead, the trees without blossom – and he peacefully lay in his bed. And when he last glanced up to me, his eyes seemed to say “I’m free to go with the spirit of spring” and so he let out his very last breath.

by Anonymous

I am! (John Clare)

I Am!

By John Clare

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

_____________________________________________________

Every single person has a destiny, please forgive me for my extreme clichés, but I do believe this. And yesterday, as I turned 49, I found mine. My destiny is not like his or hers, to change the world for the better. My destiny is not to be, rather than to be.  It is not a question anymore. I solved Shakespeare’s riddle and became the king of Denmark.

Dear stranger,

Oh damned are you, unlucky reader, finder and now rightful owner of my sorrows and pain. You shall be the first and last person to know me, to know who I am. Because I am, aren’t I? I exist, don’t I? I have a shadow claiming every second of every move. Am I not able to see my reflection? May this last note of mine be the everlasting proof of my existence.

You, my dearest, surely don’t know me, yet. For no one knows anything about me, for I am a wandering soul, lost on a one-way road. I am faceless in-between the millions of faces baring even more eyes that wouldn’t find me worthy enough for a second look, if I had the pleasure of receiving the first, in the first place.

They simply don’t care; really, they don’t even try to make it look like they do. This is how unattractive I am to the world, nothing but a useless pile of flesh and bones slowly in decay.

My friends, to whom I gave this rank because they weren’t completely appalled, the first time we met, haven’t forgotten about me. For you have to know someone before you can forget him. My mother, who carried me for nine months, looked at me and said ‘I wish it were a girl’. Even the one person, who was biologically forced to love me, didn’t.

With no one to speak to, I am doomed to be the self-consumer of my woes, with the lights out, with a glass of whatever and a bottle of even more whatever. I am lonely, I guess. I should be, right? Don’t you feel sorry for me? Do you wish you could have been my friend? Please don’t. Because I am, I am alive today as I write this letter to you, stranger. I am alive like the weeds in your backyard, which grow taller and more ugly every day, yet still, are as useless as the day before. I am alive like the insect you smacked away from the fruit in your kitchen. I do no harm, yet am disgusting and you don’t want me around because I’ll make you feel uncomfortable.

I am alive, I feel my heart beating through my chest right now, it sings in tune with an 808 beat. But do I want to be alive; do I need to be alive? Who else other than me should care and yet, I myself don’t want to live… Should I? Oh why am I even asking? Don’t get me wrong; I am by no means looking for help or a reason not to end it. I will, because I want to. I have grown surer every word of this letter.

I long for long virgin beaches, which my feet would be the first to touch. I long for long starry nights nobody saw but my teary eyes and blind heart. I long for a long past history of myself. I, me, mine. Make it murder. Because I know that with or without me, you, beloved friend or fiend, will always be mine, after today. Hold me with you, woven into your scar tissue and think about me. Look up to the moon; I will be sitting there, looking at you from my own pale kingdom. Where I belong. I am the man on the moon and I will finally be recognized in my invisibility. My days will turn into the everlasting night but it won’t turn dark for a second. As a new-born I will fall asleep as the moon goes in retrograde, flowing through the star crusted skies, kissing the sun, losing gravity and finally howling back at the earth.

by Aska Hayakawa

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.

_____________________________________________________

Dear diary,

When I was younger I was madly in love with a girl. I tried to hide my love and forget it, but every small noise made me crazy. I couldn’t even bear the buzzing of a fly, the ticking of a clock or the flowing of water because everything reminded me of her.

I hid my love, but in fact I really wanted to tell someone how strong my love for her was. I wanted someone to understand my love, because I was slowly turning insane. I couldn’t bear to look at light or do anything as simple as write in my diary, read a book or lace my shoes, since I couldn’t think of anything else than my dear love.

I decided I couldn’t live this way any longer and desperately tried to forget her. I forced myself not to look at her anymore, but soon found out this wasn’t working. Her memory was everywhere. Her memory was in the waves of the sea, the rain and the wild flowers. Whenever I saw them I bade my love goodbye because I had to forget her and ignore my stupidity.

Excuse me, dear diary, I’m just rambling. Let me start at the beginning. I saw my love for the first time in Blue Bell Pub. I was just drinking a beer with my mates when my eyes fell upon her. She immediately enchanted me with her beauty. She has beautiful blue eyes. I could drown in those eyes of her. The sunlight shone upon her face and from that moment on I knew I was lost. She is just divine. I really don’t have enough words to describe how pretty she is. She was my secret all summer. I couldn’t meet her or be with her, but in my mind I was constantly with her.

I tried hopelessly to hide my love but literally everything reminded me of her. The sea as blue as her eyes, the sun as clear as her smile and the bees buzzing like her voice. My love for her just kept growing and every tiny thing made it worse. I couldn’t forget her and just ignore it. She was driving me mad. My love was too strong. Even the silence reminded me of her. I couldn’t relax the whole summer, because my heart was constantly aching. It was just so intense, but when I look back at it now I know it was just a silly secret love.

Love John.

by Anonymous