Wild Bees

written by John Clare

Wild Bees

— John Clare

These children of the sun which summer brings
As pastoral minstrels in her merry train
Pipe rustic ballads upon busy wings
And glad the cotters' quiet toils again.
The white-nosed bee that bores its little hole
In mortared walls and pipes its symphonies,
And never absent couzen, black as coal,
That Indian-like bepaints its little thighs,
With white and red bedight for holiday,
Right earlily a-morn do pipe and play
And with their legs stroke slumber from their eyes.
And aye so fond they of their singing seem
That in their holes abed at close of day
They still keep piping in their honey dreams,
And larger ones that thrum on ruder pipe
Round the sweet smelling closen and rich woods
Where tawny white and red flush clover buds
Shine bonnily and bean fields blossom ripe,
Shed dainty perfumes and give honey food
To these sweet poets of the summer fields;
Me much delighting as I stroll along
The narrow path that hay laid meadow yields,
Catching the windings of their wandering song.
The black and yellow bumble first on wing
To buzz among the sallow's early flowers,
Hiding its nest in holes from fickle spring
Who stints his rambles with her frequent showers;
And one that may for wiser piper pass,
In livery dress half sables and half red,
Who laps a moss ball in the meadow grass
And hoards her stores when April showers have fled;
And russet commoner who knows the face
Of every blossom that the meadow brings,
Starting the traveller to a quicker pace
By threatening round his head in many rings:
These sweeten summer in their happy glee
By giving for her honey melody.

About the poet


John Clare

John Clare was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets. His biographer Jonathan Bate states that Clare was "the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self". Life Early Life Clare was born in Helpston, six miles to the north of the city of Peterborough. In his life time, the village was in the...

Read Full Biography

Poem of the Day

Faren Er Der, Stormklokken Ringer

Emil Aarestrup

Faren er der, Stormklokken ringer
Og jeg er forloren, himmelske Smerte!
Foraaret og to deilige Øine
Have sammensvoret sig mod mit Hjerte.

Foraaret og to deilige Øine -
Baade jeg og mit Hjerte...

Read Full Poem

Poet of the Day

Yusuf ibn Harun al-Ramadi

Yusuf ibn Harun al-Ramadi, more commonly known as Al-Ramadi died in 1022. His birth date is febateable but is sometimes given as 917 which would make him extremely long lived especially in that period. He lived under the caliphate of Alhakén...

Read Full Biography