I can be a proper grump at this time of year. While everyone else is raving about how wonderful the lighter evenings are, I’m complaining that longer, lighter evenings are freezing cold and it doesn’t seem decent to draw the curtains against daylight. There are things to enjoy, though. First, the way the daffodils and primroses which now fill the garden glow palely in the dusk. Second, hearing a blackbird singing in the early evening. This poem by John Drinkwater was a favourite of mine when I was a child. I mentally transposed it to our own suburban garden and felt it summed up the time of year.
He comes on chosen evenings, My blackbird bountiful, and sings Over the garden of the town Just at the hour the sun goes down. His flight across the chimneys thick, By some divine arithmetic, Comes to his customary stack, And couches there his plumage black, And there he lifts his yellow bill, Kindled against the sunset, till These suburbs are like Dymock woods Where music has her solitudes, And while he mocks the winter's wrong Rapt on his pinnacle of song, Figured above our garden plots Those are celestial chimney-pots.