Song's Eternity

by John Clare

What is song's eternity?

Come and see.

Can it noise and bustle be?

Come and see.

Praises sung or praises said

Can it be?

Wait awhile and these are dead—

Sigh, sigh;

Be they high or lowly bred

They die.

What is song's eternity?

Come and see.

Melodies of earth and sky,

Here they be.

Song once sung to Adam's ears

Can it be?

Ballads of six thousand years

Thrive, thrive;

Songs awaken with the spheres


Mighty songs that miss decay,

What are they?

Crowds and cities pass away

Like a day.

Books are out and books are read;

What are they?

Years will lay them with the dead—

Sigh, sigh;

Trifles unto nothing wed,

They die.

Dreamers, mark the honey bee;

Mark the tree

Where the blue cap "tootle tee"

Sings a glee

Sung to Adam and to Eve—

Here they be.

When floods covered every bough,

Noah's ark

Heard that ballad singing now;

Hark, hark,

"Tootle tootle tootle tee"—

Can it be

Pride and fame must shadows be?

Come and see—

Every season owns her own;

Bird and bee

Sing creation's music on;

Nature's glee

Is in every mood and tone