A John Clare Calendar (Geoff Allan)

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  1. Autumn Icon_mp3_globe.gif  
  2. Winter Icon_mp3_globe.gif  
  3. Spring Icon_mp3_globe.gif  
  4. Summer Icon_mp3_globe.gif  
Editor: Geoff Allan (submitted 2022-06-23).   Score information: A4, 44 pages, 1.35 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: A John Clare Calendar
Composer: Geoff Allan
Lyricist: John Clare
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 2022
Description: Four Seasonal and pastoral poems by John Clare, "the quintessential Romantic poet". Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer. Set for 4 part SATB choir and piano.

YouTube Score Video

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


by John Clare (1793 – 1864)

1. Spring
The Spring is gone, the Summer-beauty wanes,
Like setting sunbeams, in their last decline;
As evening shadows, lingering on the plains,
Gleam dim and dimmer till they cease to shine:

The busy bee hath humm'd himself to rest;
Flowers dry to seed, that held the sweets of Spring;
Flown is the bird, and empty is the nest,
His broods are rear'd, no joys are left to sing.

There hangs a dreariness about the scene,
A present shadow of a bright has been.

Ah, sad to prove that Pleasure's golden springs,
Like common fountains, should so quickly dry,
And be so near allied to vulgar things!--
The joys of this world are but born to die.


2. Winter
The small wind whispers through the leafless hedge
Most sharp and chill, where the light snowy flakes
Rest on each twig and spike of wither'd sedge,
Resembling scatter'd feathers;--vainly breaks

The pale split sunbeam through the frowning cloud,
On Winter's frowns below--from day to day
Unmelted still he spreads his hoary shroud,
In dithering pride on the pale traveller's way,

Who, croodling, hastens from the storm behind
Fast gathering deep and black, again to find

His cottage-fire and corner's sheltering bounds;
Where, haply, such uncomfortable days
Make musical the wood-sap's frizzling sounds,
And hoarse loud bellows puffing up the blaze.


3. Spring (A Spring Morning)
The Spring comes in with all her hues and smells,
In freshness breathing over hills and dells;
O’er woods where May her gorgeous drapery flings,
And meads washed fragrant by their laughing springs.

Fresh are new opened flowers, untouched and free
From the bold rifling of the amorous bee.
The happy time of singing birds is come,
And Love’s lone pilgrimage now finds a home;

Among the mossy oaks now coos the dove,
And the hoarse crow finds softer notes for love.
The foxes play around their dens, and bark
In joy’s excess, ’mid woodland shadows dark.

The flowers join lips below; the leaves above;
And every sound that meets the ear is Love.


4. Summer
I love to see the summer beaming forth
And white wool sack clouds sailing to the north
I love to see the wild flowers come again
And mare blobs stain with gold the meadow drain

And water lilies whiten on the floods
Where reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood
Where from her hiding place the Moor Hen pushes
And seeks her flag nest floating in bull rushes

I like the willow leaning half way o’er
The clear deep lake to stand upon its shore
I love the hay grass when the flower head swings
To summer winds and insects happy wings

That sport about the meadow the bright day
And see bright beetles in the clear lake play.