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 vine-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...