John Clare – I Am

John Clare (July 13, 1793 – May 20, 1864)

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 oblivion’s host,
Like shadows in love-frenzied stifled throes—
And yet I am and live—like vapours 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
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
 
I long for scenes where man hath 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.