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I leaned upon a coppice gate

Language: English

I leaned upon a coppice gate
  When frost was specter-gray,
And winter's dregs made desolate
  The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
  Like strings [from]1 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 fervorless as I.

At once a voice [burst forth]2 among
  The bleak twigs overhead
In 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.


Translation(s): GER

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Graphic, 1900, rev. 1902
1 Hoiby, Weir: "of"
2 Hoiby, Weir: "arose"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , title 1: "Die dunkelnde Drossel (Am letzten Tag des 19. Jahrhunderts)", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website: 2008-01-12 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2016-02-10 13:25:51

Line count: 32
Word count: 160

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