But as sorrows more opress
Hoary neath a weight of years
Where the mouldering walls are seen
Hung wi pelitorry green (*)
Where the steeples taper stretch
Tries the eye its length to reach
Suiting well the solemn scene
From Helpston in rural Northamptonshire, John Clare was born in 1793. He is now regarded as the most important poet of the natural world from Britain. He wrote many poems, essays, journals and letters about love, sex, corruption and politics, environmental and social change, poverty and folk life. Even in his madness, his talents were not diminished. Ronald Blythe, President of the John Clare Society, sees Clare as "... England's most articulate village voice". Clare died, aged 71, in 1864.