Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Hardy’

Winter does not like to give up her power here in Wheaton, Illinois. It’s snowing again this morning after a week of bright sunlight and singing birds. The leaves of the soon-to-be-born daffodils are pressing up from the earth into the air. In the afternoons, I’ve been sitting in the sunlight, reading, and watching to see how soon the flowers will come. The birds have already returned, but this morning, they must be shivering! I have the perfect poem for a day like today:

“The Darkling Thrush”

I leant upon a coppice gate
when Frost was spectre-gray,
and Winter’s dregs made desolate
the weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
like strings of broken lyres,
and all mankind that haunted nigh
had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
the Century’s corpse outleant,
his crypt the cloudy canopy,
the wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
was shrunken hard and dry,
and every spirit upon the earth
seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
the bleak twigs overhead
in a full-hearted evensong
of joy illimited;
an aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
in blast-beruffled plume,
had chosen thus to fling his soul
upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
of such ecstatic sound
was written on terrestrial things
afar and nigh around,
that I could think there trembled through
his happy good-night air
some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
and I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy
(19th c.)

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