First time posting... I guess I'm not as big of a DG fan as I like to think, since I only heard this song last night for the first time! Anyhow, it's an absolutely beautiful song, and I especially like the last verse:
Took a walk along the path as the new year turned
Trees were looming ghostly, grass was dead and burned
clinging to the undergrowth above the wintry earth
A little bird was singing out for all its heart was worth
When I first heard these lines I immediately thought of Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush. Something magical about these English poets! Anyhow, I've added the poem at the end of this post. Anyone think it was an intentional nod to Hardy, or just similar sounding imagery?
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.