Poem of the week: John Clare, The Foddering Boy

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The foddering boy along the crumping snows
With straw-band-belted legs and folded arm
Hastens and on the blast that keenly blows
Oft turns for breath and beats his fingers warm
And shakes the lodging snows from off his cloaths
Buttoning his doublet closer from the storm
And slouching his brown beaver o’er his nose
Then faces it agen – and seeks the stack
Within its circling fence – where hungry lows
Expecting cattle making many a track
About the snows – impatient for the sound
When in hugh forkfulls trailing at his back
He litters sweet hay about the ground
And brawls to call the staring cattle round

The Foddering Boy

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