“I feel I am…,” by John Clare
I feel I am, I only know I am,
And plod upon the earth as dull and void:
Earth’s prison chilled my body with its dram
Of dullness, and my soaring thoughts destroyed.
I fled to solitudes from passion’s dream,
But strife pursued—I only know I am.
I was a being created in the race
Of men, disdaining bounds of place and time,
A spirit that could travel o’er the space
Of earth and heaven, like a thought sublime—
Tracing creation, like my Maker free,–
A soul unshackled—like eternity:
Spurning earth’s vain and soul debasing thrall—
But now I only I am,–that’s all.