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John Clare

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

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He could not die when trees were green, for he loved the time too well.

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And all the charms of face or voice Which I in others see, Are but the recollected choice Of what I feel for thee.

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The best way to avoid a bad action is by doing a good one, for there is no difficulty in the world like that of trying to do nothing.

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Still, I have been no one's enemy but my own. My easy nature, either in drinking or anything else, was always ready to submit to persuasions of profligate companions, who often led me into snares.

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Song #4

I wish I was where I would be,
With love alone to dwell,
Was I but her or she but me,
Then love would all be well.
I wish to send my thoughts to her
As quick as thoughts can fly,
But as the winds the waters stir
The mirrors change and fly.

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Idle Fame

I would not wish the burning blaze
Of fame around a restless world,
The thunder and the storm of praise
In crowded tumults heard and hurled.
I would not be a flower to stand
The stare of every passer-bye;
But in some nook of fairyland,
Seen in the praise of beauty's eye.

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Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers go in many a thumming spring
And now to stalks of tasseled sow-grass cling,
That shakes and swees awhile, but still keeps straight;
While arching oxeye doubles with his weight.
Next on the cat-tail-grass with farther bound
He springs, that bends until they touch the ground.

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The Secret

I loved thee, though I told thee not,
Right earlily and long,
Thou wert my joy in every spot,
My theme in every song.
And when I saw a stranger face
Where beauty held the claim,
I gave it like a secret grace
The being of thy name.
And all the charms of face or voice
Which I in others see
Are but the recollected choice
Of what I felt for thee.

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All nature has a feeling

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There's nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

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