On A Morning In December

The night was cold and frosty and the morning fields are gray
And the migrant redwing thrushes chirp on bare hedgerows far away
And the chaffinch he is silent on bare branch of alder tree
In flights of nostalgic fancy such things one does hear and see,
In the frosted fields by the old hill that overlook the town
The mountain hare in tawny coat is racing up and down
For to warm the coldness in her bones she has a run around
In the grayness of a Winter's dawn on the hard frosty ground,
The sparrows chirp by the back door expecting to be fed
Till housewife after breakfast throws out scraps of meat and bread
And redpolls in from bare wood and field by the hay shed search for seed
They overcome most of their fear of human kind to serve their own survival need
And the cattle in the farm-shed are bellowing for hay
On a morning in December in the dawning cold and gray.

by Francis Duggan

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