Meet Me in the Green Glen

    LOVE, meet me in the green glen,
    Beside the tall elm-tree,
    Where the sweetbriar smells so sweet agen;
    There come with me.
        Meet me in the green glen.

    Meet me at the sunset
    Down in the green glen,
    Where we've often met
    By hawthorn-tree and foxes' den,
        Meet me in the green glen.

    Meet me in the green glen,
    By sweetbriar bushes there;
    Meet me by your own sen,
    Where the wild thyme blossoms fair.
        Meet me in the green glen.

    Meet me by the sweetbriar,
    By the mole-hill swelling there;
    When the west glows like a fire
    God's crimson bed is there.
        Meet me in the green glen.

    John Clare (1793-1864)

Sparse and simple Meet Me in the Green Glen is typical of English poet John Clare. No doubt this work took a great deal of effort for Clare since he was an uneducated peasant. Soulful words from a man who had the courage to teach himself to read by using James Thomspon's The Seasons as his textbook.

In the early 19th century peasant poets were quote popular and John Clare enjoyed a certain popularity but not enough to really make a successful living. Clare published three volumes of poetry in London from 1820 to 1827 but still lived near starvation and died in an asylum. He ran away in 1841, but after a few months at home he was sent to the Northampton Asylum where he remained until his death. His last poem was I Am! written from his room there, a sad epigraph to a brilliant mans life.


John Clare in Hiding:

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

CST Approved.

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