The Darkling Thrush

Thomas Hardy 1840 - 1928

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 me
The Century's corpse outleant,
Its crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind its death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervorless 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,
With 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 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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was a Scottish Minister, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

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"The Darkling Thrush" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/36500/the-darkling-thrush>.

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