The moon that now and then last night
Glanced between clouds in flight
Saw the white harvest that spread over
The stubble fields and even roots and clover.
It climbed the hedges, overflowed
And trespassed on the road,
Weighed down fruit trees and when winds woke
From white-thatched roofs rose in a silver smoke.
How busy is the world today!
Sun reaps, rills bear away
The lovely harvest of the snow
While bushes weep loud tears to see it go
The Shepherd’s Hut
Now when I could not find the road
Unless beside it also flowed
This cobbled beck that through the night,
Breaking on stones, makes its own light,
Where blackness in the starlit sky
Is all I know a mountain by,
A shepherd little thinks how far
His lamp is shining like a star.
Nightfall on Sedgemoor
The darkness like a guillotine
Descends on the flat earth;
The flocks look white across the rhine
All but one lamb, a negro from its birth.
The pollards hold up in the gloom
Knobbed heads with long stiff hair
That the wind tries to make a broom
To sweep the moon’s faint feather from the air.
What makes the darkness fall so soon
Is not the short March day
Nor the white sheep nor brightening moon,
But long June evenings when I came this way.
Walking on the Cliff
But for a sleepy gull that yawned
And spread its wings and dropping disappeared
This evening would have dawned
To the eternity my flesh has feared.
For too intent on a blackcap
Perched like a miser on the yellow furze
High over Birling Gap,
That sang ‘Gold is a blessing not a curse’,
How near I was to stepping over
The brink where the gull dropped to soar beneath,
While now safe as a lover
I walk the cliff-edge arm in arm with Death.