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Because It's February and Winter drags on

As I post this, I am simultaneously working on two other posts. One is about living intentionally and the other is about fear and courage. But sitting here at my kitchen table this morning, I am also staring at a rather bleak landscape outside my window. Bare branches. Frozen fields. Black mountains. Gray skies. Mid-February and frozen. And I just felt like a dose of Thomas Hardy would be good for my soul. This is my go-to poem. Always. Thomas Hardy on hope.

The Darkling Thrush

By Thomas Hardy

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.

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