On First Looking Onto Wintry Fields
Caught in the paucity of winter,
Sheep huddle in lacquered fields
Where clouds net the icy smell,
And earth is clad in chequered shadow.
Lichen spirals a fallen tree
Filigreed with frost;
The religious beech
Bends its leaves like bowed heads at prayer,
And matted moss clings to marshes
Cloven by a roe-deer's hoof.
The dog-fox pauses......listening -
A sparrow hawk swings, wide and silent,
And the land lies passionless
In a quilt of smoking snow.
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