The Skylark

John Clare is one of the calibrated eighteenth-century poets who wrote short types of poems. He is called the eighteenth-century romantic poet. John Clare wrote poems on nature and love.

The main theme that we get from his poems is love for nature also seasonal facts come forward. “The Skylark” is one of his best poems that is a bit longer than all. There is another work in the same title called “To A Skylark” by William Wordsworth.


The poem is getting started with a line like,

“The rolls and harrows lie at rest beside
The battered road; and spreading far and wide
Above the russet clods, the corn is seen
Sprouting its spiry points of tender green,
Where squats the hare,”

Here the poet says that rolls and harrows lie beside at rest. The muddy rose there is spreading everywhere that seems the field is very wide. There is a small red field and from that corn can be seen that is growing up with lights.

John Clare's Romantic World of Nature
John Clare’s Romantic World of Nature

The lower part of the tree is sprouting with green leaves and the rabbits are sitting by their stomach and waiting for eating corn. Within the red field that is looking like clods, a ladder is standing.

Now the field is getting filled with golden caskets in on the light of the sun. And the buttercups also make the schoolboys very excited.

“Up from their hurry, see, the skylark flies,
And o’er her half-formed nest, with happy wings
Winnows the air, till in the cloud she sings,
Then hangs a dust-spot in the sunny skies,”

Now from their busy eyes when they will look at the sky can be able to see that Skylark is flying with her half-made nest. Probably it is shifting from one place to another.

Now the poet is uttering that the air is winnowing till she sings her song on the sky. Later she hangs a dust spot in the sunny sky. The expression means that it flies with dust and she spread specks of dust over the world.

When the Skylark is flying in the sky her nest is getting down from its lips. Her nest falls and it indicates destruction. Now the poet thinks about birds that are being compared with the skylark.

It fails to carry the nest which is free from danger as heaven also free from the fire of hell. This line is indicating imagery where the poet talks about the nest.

Quotes of John Clare

The Collection of Poems
The Collection of Poems

“From pain and toil, there would they build and be,
And sail about the world to scenes unheard
Of and unseen—Oh, were they but a bird!
So think they, while they listen to its song,”

Now he says that with the pain there it would build a nest. Poet also says to think about its song that the skylark uses to sing. So the nest lies on the mud and it will be absorbed with the morning dew. Thus, the nest is lying on the corn very accurately and looking good.


In the poem “The Skylark” Clare tries to claim its living life with full spirit. Skylark can be seen flying over the sky and it carries a self-made nest. So, the bird made a house but he had to change the place and that is why it is carrying half made nest.

Along with that some natural perspectives also come that get mold with each other. The struggle for a living is being shown and on the other hand, the nature of the world is being shown and they both are relevant.


Nature is always a theme in most of John Clare’s poems. Here also nature is the main theme. The green world with brown cornfields is described well in this poem.

Also, the song of the Skylark has become a part of nature. Therefore nature and its kind heart is the main theme of the poem, Then comes the skylark who is carrying the nest. Clare addresses her gender by using ‘she’.

Literary Devices

At the last of this article, we shall be talking about the most significant part of the poem. Literary devices are important because it helps to get eminence.

Therefore, the rhyming pattern is also very important. Here the rhyming pattern that he has used is “aabbccddeeff”. This poem consists of a single stanza.

Anaphora is a literary device that refers to the repetition of a word used at the starting of two lines, one after another like,

“The rolls and harrows lie at rest beside
The battered road;”

Then comes another literary device called Alliteration which refers to the repetition of the same sound, just as,

“And drops, and drops,”


“Sprouting its spiry points “

Then comes Syncope which means writing a word using an apostrophe like “o’er”.

Then there are some less significant rhetorical devices like symbolism, imagery, etc.