John Clare (1793-1864) is still almost criminally underrated as a poet: as a Romantic poet, as a nature poet, and as a great English poet, full stop. ‘The Thunder Mutters’ is a short poem that sees Clare capturing the effect that the rumbling of thunder has upon the natural world. For a good edition of John Clare’s poetry, we recommend John Clare: Major Works from Oxford University Press.
The Thunder Mutters
The thunder mutters louder & more loud
With quicker motion hay folks ply the rake
Ready to burst slow sails the pitch black cloud
& all the gang a bigger haycock make
To sit beneath—the woodland winds awake
The drops so large wet all thro’ in an hour
A tiney flood runs down the leaning rake
In the sweet hay yet dry the hay folks cower
& some beneath the waggon shun the shower.
If you liked ‘The Thunder Mutters’, you might also enjoy John Clare’s great poem, ‘I Am’.