Bitter melancholy twists through the boughs on the
dying day of the year, and through the trees a column of gaily dressed
mourners. Bitter cold on the unsnowed, frosted earth and the Piper
at the head, cleaving the air.
Behind him the green-leaf bier: Black-veiled Queen
taps her fingers (a little impatiently) at the sixth attempt at a
lover born away. Robin beside her puffing out his red fat chest
and sitting in regal warmth.
The wren has died again who now lies stiff and belly
up, with blue frozen claws curled (one might think) in tiny
supplication; Robin cocks a merry eye, then glances at the
The day of festivities over, the Night is natal to the Year.
Far more quick than thought the Ram, the Lion and the
Archer pass through their obedient marching town: new
harvest long gathered, and ploughed fields in states of brown
A tearing noise commences in the silence.
Alone under the freezing myrtle, finding no refuge
On the crumbling earth, crouches Robin trembling:
At the end of the seventh year, wide-eyed and frozen-clawed
as he hears the hunting-cry not far enough, and the Piper