'Tis evening, the black snail has got on his track,
And gone to its nest is the wren;-
And the packman snail too, with his home on his back;
Clings on the bowed bents like a wen.

The shepherd has made a rude mark with his foot,
Where his shadow reached when he first came;
And it just touched the tree where his secret love cut,
Two letters that stand for love's name.

The evening comes in with the wishes of love;-
And the shepherd he looks on the flowers;-
And thinks who would praise the soft song of the dove,
And meet joy in these dewfalling hours.

For nature is love, and the wishers of love;
When nothing can hear or intrude;
It hides from the eagle, and joins with the dove:
In beautiful green solitude.

John Clare

Idyll by Lord Frederick Leighton

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