The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

THE POET BY DAY

Karen Arnold has released this “Winter Day Painting” image into the public domain License: CC0 Public Domain

“Don’t think of what’s past!” said she. “I am not going to think outside of now. Why should we! Who knows what tomorrow has in store? ” Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles



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 earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of…

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