On his bold visage middle age Had slightly press'd its signet sage, Yet had not quenched the open truth And fiery vehemence of youth; Forward and frolic glee was there, The will to do, the soul to dare.
Now musing o'er the changing scene Farmers behind the tavern screen Collect; with elbows idly press'd On hob, reclines the corner's guest, Reading the news to mark again The bankrupt lists or price of grain. Puffing the while his red-tipt pipe He dreams o'er troubles nearly ripe, Yet, winter's leisure to regale, Hopes better times, and sips his ale.john clare
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