Wednesday, December 17, 2008

About Winter

Oh anybody could write a bad poem, but some days you just need to read a good one. It's about hope:

The Darkling Thrush

by: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

      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 seem'd 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
      Seem'd 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 carollings
      Of such ecstatic sound
      Was written on terrestrial things
      Afar or nigh around,
      That I could think there trembled through
      His happy good-night air
      Some blessèd Hope, whereof he knew
      And I was unaware.
You've got to love a poet who can combine both "The Century's corpse outleant" AND "Some blessèd Hope" in the same poem.

Seemingly, so little reason to sing--yet still he does. Still he does.

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