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To DeWint

De Wint! I would not flatter nor would I

Pretend to critic-skill in this thine art,

Yet in thy landscapes I can well descry

Thy breathing hues as nature’s counterpart.

No painted freaks, no wild romantic sky,

No rocks nor mountains as the rich sublime,

Hath made thee famous, but the sunny truth

Of nature that doth mark thee for all time,

Found on our level pastures – spots, forsooth,

Where common skill sees nothing deemed divine.

Yet here a worshipper was found in thee,

Where thy young pencil worked such rich surprise

That rushy flats befringed with willow tree

Rivalled the beauties of Italian skies.

John Clare

from The Rural Muse, 1835

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Last updated: 18 February 2011

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