The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

Further to my post yesterday about our resident Thrush, came a comment from Jo in Scotland, that my post, our winter and recent earthquakes had put her in mind of this poem…..I agree with Jo so here it is for you all to enjoy.

As a side note Jo keeps two blogs on the boil one here “Jo’s Journal” and the other here “The Hazel Tree”, both are stunning and so well written and interesting.

And the Thrush has been in full voice again here from first light. He is “off for lunch” at the moment, thanks to the noise of a local lawn mowing chap.

The Darkling Thrush
By Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
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
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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7 thoughts on “The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

  1. Juliet

    This has been a favourite poem of mine for many decades. I studied Thomas Hardy for my PhD in English and love his attentive observations of nature. The poem fits your situation so well.

    Reply
  2. Jo Woolf

    Hi Lyn, glad to hear that my comment got through and that you loved the poem too! It gives me tingles down the spine no matter how many times I read it. Thank you SO much for your lovely comments about my blogs. I am still struggling with the same WordPress problems – I hope they sort them out soon. I’ve just had to log out and back in again just to post this comment. Think I’ll go and listen to a thrush instead! 🙂

    Reply

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