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John Clare - I Am

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I Am

I am: yet what I am none cares or knows:
My friends forsake me like a memory lost,
I am the self-consumer of my woes--
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love's frenzied stifled throes--
And yet I am, and live--like vapors tossed
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
Even the dearest, that I love the best,
And strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod,
A place where woman never smiled or wept--
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie,
The grass below--above the vaulted sky.

- John Clare 1793-1864