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-beruffied 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.
Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy
New York: Macmillan, 1943
|THRUSH. In the large thrush family of birds are
some of the finest singers the robin, the bluebird, and the nightingale,
as well as those commonly known as thrushes. Although most of them
are feathered in browns and buffs, some thrushes such as the robin and
the bluebird have bright colors.
Whatever the color of the parent birds, all young thrushes have spotted breasts until their first autumn molt. Some species nest and live in trees, others on the ground; some feed on insects, others on fruits. In England the mavis, or song thrush, the missel thrush, and the nightingale are the best-known species. In the United States the wood thrush, the hermit thrush, and the veery are among the best known of the family. These are slender brown birds.
Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995 Compton's NewMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved