Oh John Clare by Tony Lanfranchi

Oh John Clare if I looked into your mind
Would there be words that I could find
About flowers, birds, bees and love
Or clouds that paint the skies above
As I kneel at your grave and imagine you there
The birds are busy winnowing the air
A breeze lightly fans the leaves on the bough
Oh how I wish you were with ne now

The sun would shine again as then
As though you lived and held your pen
Your body may be with the dust in the earth
But your spirit lives on to give new birth
We could drink in the Bluebell and talk of your rhymes
Before the Enclosure and happier times
Your poems descriptive and applegreen coat
Your ballads and love songs all made us float

And when you did go to London with fame
You were top of the form and all knew your name
You mixed with the best you were cream of the crop
Your thoughts all poured out and never did stop
But all of a sudden everything changed
You went out of fashion and your mind was deranged
And as much as you tried to continue and fight
People bought not the books you did write

They abandoned and left you all on your own
Three miles to Northborough to find a new home
But all was not well here for your further decline
The sun had moved from where it should shine
Even the chair sensed all was amiss
Where is my cottage of freedom and bliss?
Time took its toll and to Epping you went
A literary genius now broken and bent

And as the years passed you continued to struggle
You thought you were  Byron in your own little bubble
Thank goodness for Knight who transcribed and preserved
The poems you left us much credit deserved
So God bless you John and your volumes of verse
If living today you d have a full purse
I ll now say a prayer to protect and to guide
The angels of Helpston who stand by your side