Tag Archives: Birds

Along the Blue-Treaded Way

Educated fleas and your top o’ the mourning gnats.
Bewintered bluebirds that spring into song.
And all the day, along the blue-treaded way,
There sounds a requiem for all that was soft, fine and gay.

Exalted larks in strange exultations.
A brace of nightingales embraced against the storm.
And all along the hedgrerows
The thrushes in their throes,
And so it goes –
And so it goes.

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I came across this poem today. I loved it instantly.  It had to be shared.

There are so many amazing lines, but these are undoubtedly my favourite: “to fling his soul / Upon the growing gloom.”

The word ‘fling’ is simply perfect.

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, 1900

The Darkling Thrush

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