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January 2019



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Hope for a New Year

Hardy wrote this poem at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Darkling Thrush

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.
Thomas Hardy

Photo BBC


Lovely, thank you.
My mother's favourite!
Very beautiful, thank you for posting it. The thrush is one of my favourite garden birds :)
I've always liked it.
There were lots of thrushes in my old garden but I rarely see one here.
I'm surprised you don't get them. We have them here and last year I saw a mistle thrush in the garden for the very first time.
Happy new year, Barbara!
Thank you!
How lovely! Best New Year's wishes to you as well, Barbara.
Thank you!


I do like Hardy's poems, and mean to read more of them.
How close to Hardy country are you? If you've mentioned it, I must have missed the posting. Sorry.
I pretty much live in Hardy country, in fact he lived in our town for a while and there's a blue plaque to prove it! Dorchester/Casterbridge is about twenty five miles away.

I love Hardy's poetry but have trouble convincing other people that it's not all gloom.