Now in this wan December, when
The trees like huge upended roots,
Shelter deep-slumbering owls, the sun
Shines slightly and the mist competes
With old-man’s-beard to soften fields
Left fallow in brown tufted folds.
The pheasants, sprung from bracken, fly
Heavily in the sodden air,
Then skim a broken filigree
Of thorn, through which the blackbirds peer,
And, Chinese colours glinting, pass
Into a rabbit-land of gorse.
This lightly painted picture holds
Its outlines, as the sea-gulls sail
In from the sea and dot the fields
Like moving forms of snow, until
The faded silver sun has set,
And wakeful owls hoot home the night.