I Hid My Love (John Clare)

I Hid My Love

by John Clare

I hid my love when young till I
Couldn’t bear the buzzing of a fly;
I hid my love to my despite
Till I could not bear to look at light:
I dare not gaze upon her face
But left her memory in each place;
Where’er I saw a wild flower lie
I kissed and bade my love good-bye.

I met her in the greenest dells,
Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells;
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye,
The bee kissed and went singing by,
A sunbeam found a passage there,
A gold chain round her neck so fair;
As secret as the wild bee’s song
She lay there all the summer long.

I hid my love in field and town
Till e’en the breeze would knock me down;
The bees seemed singing ballads o’er,
The fly’s bass turned a lion’s roar;
And even silence found a tongue,
To haunt me all the summer long;
The riddle nature could not prove
Was nothing else but secret love.


Dear diary,

When I was younger I was madly in love with a girl. I tried to hide my love and forget it, but every small noise made me crazy. I couldn’t even bear the buzzing of a fly, the ticking of a clock or the flowing of water because everything reminded me of her.

I hid my love, but in fact I really wanted to tell someone how strong my love for her was. I wanted someone to understand my love, because I was slowly turning insane. I couldn’t bear to look at light or do anything as simple as write in my diary, read a book or lace my shoes, since I couldn’t think of anything else than my dear love.

I decided I couldn’t live this way any longer and desperately tried to forget her. I forced myself not to look at her anymore, but soon found out this wasn’t working. Her memory was everywhere. Her memory was in the waves of the sea, the rain and the wild flowers. Whenever I saw them I bade my love goodbye because I had to forget her and ignore my stupidity.

Excuse me, dear diary, I’m just rambling. Let me start at the beginning. I saw my love for the first time in Blue Bell Pub. I was just drinking a beer with my mates when my eyes fell upon her. She immediately enchanted me with her beauty. She has beautiful blue eyes. I could drown in those eyes of her. The sunlight shone upon her face and from that moment on I knew I was lost. She is just divine. I really don’t have enough words to describe how pretty she is. She was my secret all summer. I couldn’t meet her or be with her, but in my mind I was constantly with her.

I tried hopelessly to hide my love but literally everything reminded me of her. The sea as blue as her eyes, the sun as clear as her smile and the bees buzzing like her voice. My love for her just kept growing and every tiny thing made it worse. I couldn’t forget her and just ignore it. She was driving me mad. My love was too strong. Even the silence reminded me of her. I couldn’t relax the whole summer, because my heart was constantly aching. It was just so intense, but when I look back at it now I know it was just a silly secret love.

Love John.

 Anonymous, © Rookreading

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