I loved this solitary disposition from a boy and felt a curosity to wander about spots where I had never been before I remember one incident of this feeling when I was very young it cost my parents some anxiety it was in summer and I started off in the morning to get rotten sticks from the woods but I had a feeling to wander about the fields and I indulgd it I had often seen the large heath calld Emmonsales stretching its yellow furze from my eye into unknown solitudes when I went with the mere openers and my curosity urgd me to steal an oppertunity to explore it that morning I had imagind that the worlds end was at the edge of the orison and that a days journey was able to find it so I went on with my heart full of hopes pleasures and discoverys expecting when I got to the brink of the world that I could look down like looking into a large pit and see into its secrets the same as I believd I could see heaven by looking into the water So I eagerly wanderd on and rambled among the furze the whole day till I got out of my knowledge when the very wild flowers and birds seemd to forget me and I imagind they were the inhabitants of new countrys the very sun seemd to be a new one and shining in a different quarter of the sky still I felt no fear my wonder seeking happiness had no room for it I was finding new wonders every minute and was walking in a new world often wondering to my self that I had not found the end of the old one ...John Clare. Composed in 1824; first published in 1951.
Found at A New Map of Wonders, which I discovered thanks to ssparks' newsletter.
More to read:
John Clare: Selected Poetry and Prose. Edited by Merryn and Raymond Williams.
Iain Sinclair: Edge of the Orison: In The Traces Of John Clare's Journey Out Of Essex.