A Copse In Winter(from The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems: 1821)
Shades though you're leafless, save the bramble-spear
Whose weather-beaten leaves, of purple stain,
In hardy stubbornness cling all the year
To their old thorns, till Spring buds new again;
Shades, still I love you better than the plain,
For here I find the earliest flowers that blow,
While on the bare blea bank do yet remain
Old winter's traces, little heaps of snow.
Beneath your ashen roots, primroses grow
From dead grass tufts and matted moss, once more;
Sweet beds of violets dare again be seen
In their deep purple pride; and, gay display'd,
The crow-flowers, creeping from the naked green,
Add early beauties to your sheltering shade.
John Clare (1793-1864)