The Darkling Thrushby Thomas Hardy
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,
Its crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind its 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,
With 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.
|The original photo of Sears Castle, formerly "The Towers,"|
on Dark Island was taken by Ad Meskens
and may be found on Wikipedia.
The thrush, particularly the woodland thrush, is small, unassuming, and somewhat common in appearance, yet lyrical. Birds, with their quiet natures and their aerial perspectives see many of the mysteries in the natural world play out on the ground, watching with indifference and seeming helplessness, unwilling or unable to effect any other outcome than one might accept as natural and inevitable.
When I came across this poem, it seemed to fit quite well with the NaNoWriMo project I had in mind for this year's event, to begin November 1, 2018, and I decided to incorporate it into my mystery and to make it the first of myserialbook.com's projects.
The book will be written during November, but the first installment chapter will not be edited and released until December 1. So, if you're interested in reading The End of Things at Dark Island before it is released to the world, then subscribe on December 1.
Here is a brief introduction to the novel and an excerpt.