The Thrush at Dusk

 I once leant on a gate out in
 A wood by frost made grey,
 In which the cold snap made seem thin
 What sun still shone that day.
 The stems of bine crossed in the sky
 Like strings that once were lyres,
 And all who might have passed me by
 Had gone back to their fires.

 The land's sharp face, it seemed to me
 Would serve well as a bier,
 The sky and clouds a crypt could be,
 As winds cried, for that year.
 The age-old pulse of germ and birth
 Had shrunk and now was dry:
 No man or ghost on all the earth
 Seemed quite so dulled as I.

 At once a voice came from a place
 In twigs quite close to me
 And sang its song with not a trace
 Of pain, but filled with glee;
 A poor old thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
 Whose plumes great storms had paled,
 Had sought this way to fling his soul
 Out where the light now failed.

 There was no cause to sing that song
 Which made him seem so gay
 Out in the world, though I looked long
 Both here and down the way;
 And so I thought that there might be
 Deep in that song I heard
 Some joy he knew; and which for me
 Was strange as that poor bird.

                                -- Tom Who's Hard
                                   (done by cand)