"Riches are like muck, which stink in a heap, but spread abroad, make the earth fruitful"

Clare's Proverbs, David Powell (2000)


"His gifts at Christmass time are yearly given"

EP II 697 (The Parish)


"Praise the bridge you get safe over -- He who sets not value by his friends deserves none"

Pet MS A48 p37r

Winning and losing

"A loosing game is a fools game & easy played     But it takes a wise man to win"

Phz Misc. MS 198 p46

Injuries and Kindnesses

"Write injuries in dust & kindnesses in marble"

Pet MS A45 p26

Second thoughts...

Lord Radstock to John Taylor, 23 February 1820

"I have ever been a great admirer of proverbs, and this from a conviction of their being, generally, founded on Wisdom, and the experience of ages.  Among my favourites that of 'Second thoughts are best', is one for which I have long had the highest respect, it often serving me as an oracle to guide me..."

Quoted in 'John Clare's Proverbs' - David Powell - Tern Press (2000)


"Popularity is a hasty and a busy talker"

European Magazine, November 1825


Who falls in love will seek his own undoing
The road to marriage is — ‘the road to ruin’

Don Juan a Poem

LP I 89


"I wish young married dames were not so frisky
Nor hide the ring to make believe they’re single"
Don Juan A Poem
LP I 89


"The autumn is staining the hedges and woods with the hues of the west"

LP I 360


"He that buildeth his house with other mens money is like one that gathereth stones for his own burial"

Pet MS A51 p12r

Reminds me rather a lot of this little warning from 'Solitude" published in a disastrously altered form in 1821:

& man to me a gauling thing
Ownd creations lord & king

Tyrant to day to morrow gone
All ‘stinguished only by a stone

The snail...

"Frail brother of the morn"

(Summer Images - MP III 147f)

Bad dreams...

How (when pitch darkness glooms the awful night)
Thy dithering terrors rush upon the sight

EP I 285


Again the bull rush sprouting tall
The water wrinkles rippling thro

EP II 471


"Living luscious tinting woodlands..."

MP IV 242


[Image: Robert Thorne Waite (1842-1935)]

Come let us sit down on this baulk of mown hay
I love in such places to sweeter delay

Pet MS A31 pR158
"Hidden Treasures" (2016)


"... autumn seems to put on bridal colours for a shroud"

The Journal - 6th November 1824


The Tree the Wood the Cot & distant Spire
I would search after with a fond desire

EP I 43 


"For joys beginnings have one tale to tell
& bring their end a heart ache & farewell" 

Pet MS B4 p59
'In the Shadows' (Arbour Editions 2015)


"Morning awakes sublime -- glad earth and sky"

MP IV 276


"If life had a second edition, how I would correct the proofs"

Quoted in the Tibble's 'John Clare a Life' (1932)
... from a letter to Mrs. Emmerson (10th August 1823)

'Study' ... from "The Wish"

The other hours I'd spend in letterd ease
To read or study just as that might please

Pet MS C2 p63-6
EP I 46-50
(Unpublished elsewhere)

[To keep me company in the Clare archive in Peterborough this week]

True Poesy...

[Image: Anthony Lewis]

"True poesy is not in words
But in images that thoughts express"

MP III 581

Promises in Love...

[Image : Anne Lee]

"Promises In Love Are Never Sure"

Child Harold (line 1096)


[Image: Peter De Wint, a contemporary and friend of Clare]

Fair was the morn and Summer in its prime
For whats more lovlier than hay-making time

from "A Hunt for Dobin"
EP I 70

The power of Summer...

"The oak's slow-opening leaf of deepening hue
Bespoke the power of Summer once again"

EP I 521

A morning view...

[The image by Anne Lee is of a window in Clare's Cottage]

"My chamber window should oer look the east that in delicious views my eyes might feast" 

Pet MS C2 p63