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Featured Poem: Hares at Play by John Clare

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 1st April 2013
easter bunny reading

The Easter Bunny is a big reader...

Seeing as today is Easter Bank Holiday Monday, why not have a Featured Poem about rabbits? The Easter Bunny may be the most famous rabbit in general folklore (and we spotted that he's part of the Reading Revolution too), but literature has its heroic hares too, from Peter Rabbit and his many companions in the tales of Beatrix Potter to The Velveteen Rabbit, the March Hare in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to the bunnies in Watership Down.

Here are some more particularly playful hares, immortalised in verse by John Clare.

Hares at Play

The birds are gone to bed, the cows are still,
And sheep lie panting on each old mole-hill;
And underneath the willow's gray-green bough,
Like toil a-resting, lies the fallow plough.
The timid hares throw daylight fears away
On the lane's road to dust and dance and play,
Then dabble in the grain by naught deterred
To lick the dew-fall from the barley's beard;
Then out they sturt again and round the hill
Like happy thoughts dance, squat, and loiter still,
Till milking maidens in the early morn
Jingle their yokes and sturt them in the corn;
Through well-known beaten paths each nimbling hare
Sturts quick as fear, and seeks its hidden lair.

John Clare

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