Monday, June 1, 2009


The Darkling Thrush - Thomas Hardy, 1902
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 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
Has written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.


Susan said...

Oh, that thrush is so beautiful! I only wish I could hear its beautiful song. I've never seen one. :(

Ladybug said...

They're a joy to hear. Thankyou for visiting! LBx

ruthie said...

your thrushes look very different to ours! i love the songs that ours sing. beautiful wee birds. how interesting that your brother is a scottish country dancer, seems to be all over the world sort of interest!

willow said...

Beautiful. It's not yet summer here and I am already wishing for autumn and winter.

Ladybug said...

We had a next door neighbour when we were kids, Mrs. McIlhiney (spelling might be wrong. She'd take trips back to Scotland and I still have a tiny Scottish doll she brought back to me in my crystal cabinet. That, and the fact that our ancestors came from up near the border (Crouch)I think, sent him along that path to join the highland dancers.

Ladybug said...

Willow, I love all seasons but I must admit, Autumn and Winter (with the log fire!) are my favourites. LBx