Sunday, 21 March 2010

VERNAL EQUINOX - 3 Poems by Thomas Hardy.

words, sometimes are enough. In times dangling between extremes.


The trees are afraid to put forth buds,
And there is timidity in the grass;
The plots lie gray where gouged by spuds,
And whether next week will pass
Free of sly sour winds in the fret of each bush
Of barberry waiting to bloom.

Yet the snowdrop's face betrays no gloom,
And the primrose pants in its heedless push,
Though the myrtle asks if it's worth the fight
This year with frost and rime
To venture one more time

On delicate leaves and buttons of white
From the selfsame bough as at last year's prime,
And never to ruminate on or remember
What happened to it in mid-December.


If it's ever spring again,
Spring again,
I shall go where went I when
Down the moor-cock splashed, and hen,

Seeing me not, amid their flounder,
Standing with my arm around her;
If it's ever spring again,
Spring again,
I shall go where went I then.

If it's ever summer-time,
With the hay crop at the prime,
And the cuckoos- two - in rhyme,
As they used to be, or seemed to,
We shall do as long we've dreamed to,
If it's ever summer-time,
With the hay, and bees achime.

How do you know that the pilgrin track
Along the belting zodiac
Swept by the sun in his seeming rounds
Is traced by now to the Fishes' bounds
And into the Ram, when weeks of cloud
Have wrapt the sky in a clammy shroud,
And never as yet a tinct of spring
Has shown in the Earh's apparelling;
O vespering bird, how do you know,
How do you know?

How do you know, deep underground,
Hid in your bed from sight and sound,
Without a turn in temperature,
With weather life can scarce endure,
That light has won a fraction's strength,
And day put on some moments' length,
Whereof in merest rote will come,
Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb;
O crocus root, how do you know,
How do you know?


" The Hare is a simple creature, having no defence but to run away, yet it is subtle... for she keepeth not her youngones together in one litter, but layeth them a furlong, from one another, that she may not lose them all if permadventure men or beasts light on them."

EDWARD TOPSELL " History of Four-footed Beasts " 1607

To carry a hare's foot is very lucky - but only if it contains jointed bones - and is a sovereign remedy against gout, stomach pains and insomnia.

" It is found by Experience that when one keeps a Hare alive and feedeth him, till he have occasion to eat him, if he tells him before he kills him, that he will do so, the hare will thereupon be found dead, having killed himself. "

JOHN AUBREY " Remains of Gentilism " 1688


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