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John Clare


I feel I am, I only know I am,

And plod upon the earth as dull and void;

Earth's prison chilled my body with its dram

Of dullness, and my soaring thoughts destroyed.

I fled to solitude from passion's dream,

But strife pursued: I only know I am.

I was a being created in the race

Of men, disdaining bounds of place and time:

A spirit that could travel o'er the space

Of earth and heaven like a thought sublime;

Tracing creation, like my Maker free,

A soul unshackled like eternity:

Spurning earth's vain and soul-debasing thrall ---

But now I only know I am, that's all.


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