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 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, wherof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy 1840 - 1928

selected short stories

Wallgate Chronicles is a selection of short stories (some humourous) inspired by life experiences which have fired the imagination of the author and other literary material of general interest including book reviews and opera synopses. See selection below:-


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Selected walks

A selection of the walks documented on the Walking and Cycling page of Farthingale Publications, accessible via the link at the head of the page.