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Clare, John - Wilt thou go with me sweet maid

Identifier

005186

Type of spiritual experience

Background

A description of the path from mania to depression.

Painting by  John Atkinson Grimshaw - Lovers in a Wood under Moonlight 1873

 

A description of the experience

John Clare– from the Everyman's poetry collection

Wilt thou go with me sweet maid?
Say, maiden wilt thou go with me
Through the valley depths of shade.
Of night and dark obscurity
Where the path hath lost its way
Where the sun forgets the day,
Where there's nor life nor light to see
Sweet maiden, wilt thou go with me?
 
Where stones will turn to flooding streams,
Where plains will rise like ocean waves
Where life will fade like visioned dreams
And mountains darken into caves,
Say maiden, wilt thou go with me
Through this sad non identity,
Where parents live and are forgot
And sisters live and know us not?
 Say maiden, wilt thou go with me

In this strange death of life to be
To live in death and be the same
Without this life, or home, or name
At once to be, and not to be,
That was, and is not – yet to see
Things pass like shadows – and the sky
Above, below, around us lie?
The land of shadows wilt thou trace
And look – nor know each other's face;
The present mixed with reasons gone
And past and present all as one.
Say maiden, can thy life be led
To join the living with the dead?
Then trace thy footsteps on with me;
We're wed to one eternity 

The source of the experience

Clare, John

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities