Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Shepherd's Calendar - July

How sweet the village evening comes
To weary hinds from toil released
And panting sheep and torturd beast

The shepherd long wi heat opprest
Betakes him to his cottage rest
And his tired dog that plods along
Wi panting breath and lolling tongue
Runs eager as the brook appears
And dashes in head over ears
Startling reed sparrow broods to flye
That in the reed woods slumbered nigh
And water voles in haste to hide
Nibbling the sedges close beside

Lapping while he floats about
To quench his thirst then drabbles out
And shakes his coat and like the swain
Is happy night is come again.

One day I will finish putting in excerpts from all the months of John Clare's poem! The two paintings are 'Cattle Watering' by George Cole at the top and 'A Summer Evening on the Coln' by Walter Wallor Caffyn. The photo illustrating the shepherd's dog is less atmospheric but I couldn't find a painting to illustrate these lines. Hence the final picture is entitled 'Bilbo Baggins in the River Kent'! It was taken last year when we were in the Lake District.


Unknown said...

Lovely words, Rowan, and I think Bilbo fills the position nicely!

mxtodis123 said...

Such a beautiful poem.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Very nice - and so comforting.

Von said...

BB plays the part well! Beautiful!

Wanda..... said...

Lovely poem and paintings, Rowan. I remember others you have posted!

George said...

A lovely little pastoral poem, Rowan, and one that makes me smile, especially with the photo of Baggins in the river. Here in my little corner of the world, i take my dog, Derry, swimming in the river almost every afternoon. If there's greater happiness than this, I don't know what it is.

WOL said...

Raining now for the third day in a row here in the Texas Panhandle, but it's been gentle English rain, rather than our usual crashy-bangy downpour of 1-1/2 inches in an hour with high winds and hail.

I've subscribed to your blog now and I have been thoroughly enjoying both words and pictures. I hope you don't mind that I've copied some of your lovely pix into my wallpaper program for my work computer. They are so restful for the eyes and the spirit. :o))

laoi gaul~williams said...


has bilbo a halti/gentle leader on in the picture?
we are trying to get flynt used to a gentle leader as although he is just coming up to 6 months he pulls like a train!

Diane said...

Lovely words Rowan. Mr Bilbo Baggins looks happy. xxx

Gracie said...

Why do you feel you have to stop it? Go on lady, your excerpts are more than welcome! And BB is just nice in his role.....

Sue said...

Please more John Clare. One of my favourite poets. Shame he went barmy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rowan,
thanks for stopping by !!
I'm getting stronger each day and really enjoyed the garden this evening. My husband helped me by doing a few things, like getting out the digitalis which was shooting into seed and watering the pots. I really loved moving through the garden together with him.
I hope you are doing OK. Can the cast come off soon ???
Have a wonderful weekend.

Rosie said...

I was talking with a friend over the phone yesterday - she'd been to the John Clare Festival at Helpston over the weekend - she watched the children from the school place summer cushions of flowers around Clare's grave and also listened to a talk by Ronald Blythe president of the John Clare society of which she is a member. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Mr B Baggins looks like he is trying to cool down in the stream:)

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

(Sigh)...How I wish I were in those paintings :)

Granny Sue said...

Perfect feeling for the time of year, Rowan. I like that dog--know just how he feels.

Anonymous said...

BB made a great stand in Rowan.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Lovely words and the paintings compliments them nicely.

Diane said...

Hi again Rowan.
Yes we were at Meadowhell (not a typo!!!). If you park in the car park near BHS, you can easily get down to the riverside path where you follow the "Trans pennine trail" signs. We often walk down by the side of the river into Sheffield, and then back up on the canal side (although its easier to do this if you park at "Centertainment").

Rosemary UK said...

I hope that you ar OK as you have not blogged lately and I miss you posts ! I love John Clare's poems too.