Depiction of rural life today
Frost and snow went in a night;
meadows sloping from the down are green, daisies,
but not many, bloom in corners near the hedge,
cattle are out again to grass.
In the elms rooks are busy,
beginning their nests, swinging on the top branches, discarding old collections for refuse
and trying new forks for a better lodgment;
from across among the beeches there came this morning the first and a very early call from a ringdove.
Unwonted warmth, flooding the chill air,
brought a sudden and new sense.
Starlings came to talk –
if one could only understand them –
from the chimney-stack
before they were away to fallows and the young corn;
they chattered, whistled, sang,
blue and purple,
glowed in a momentary glint of yellow sun.
Spring approaches along the ground of the lower wood.
Wild daffodils have thrust well up from the soil,
overtopping stretches of dead leaves
cast into shallow heaps by winter winds.
Thrushes came here to search –
they know that the soft earth holds food;
a blackbird works alone.
On the southern flank a few violets are green
but not yet in flower;
the early leaves of the honeysuckle
clambering about a loose hedge browned with frost remind you of the weather yesterday.
Lower still, the river swirls along;
plover make short, disconsolate flights
above the heavy, dark stream.