In A Museum

I

Here's the mould of a musical bird long passed from light,
Which over the earth before man came was winging;
There's a contralto voice I heard last night,
That lodges with me still in its sweet singing.

II

Such a dream is Time that the coo of this ancient bird
Has perished not, but is blent, or will be blending
Mid visionless wilds of space with the voice that I heard,
In the full-fuged song of the universe unending.

by Thomas Hardy

Comments (1)

The museum referred to in 'In a museum' is the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Devon. When Hardy visited the RAMM in 1914 he saw a plaster cast of the Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica on display. This was the bird that provided the inspiration for 'In a Museum'.