nt to work in a lime-kiln several miles from Helpston, and wrote only less poems than he read: one day in the autumn of 1817, he was dreaming yet new verses when he first saw "Patty," his wife-to-be. She was then eighteen years old, and modestly beautiful; for a moment Clare forgot Mary Joyce, and though "the courtship ultimately took a more prosaic turn," there is no denying the fact that he was in love with "Patty" Turner, the daughter of the small farmer who held Walkherd Lodge. In the case of Clare, poetry was more than ever as time went on autobiography; and it is noteworthy that among the many love lyrics addressed to Mary Joyce there are not wanting affectionate tributes to his faithful wife Patty.
Maid of Walkherd, meet again,
By the wilding in the glen....
And I would go to Patty's cot
And Patty came to me;
Each knew the other's very thought
Under the hawthorn tree....
And I'll be true for Patty's sake
And she'll be true for mine