Poem By Richard George
Once, just once, I heard it;
That warm night in April
When it landed, on migration
In oak woods across the fields
From my garden: and I stood there
As it soaked the air with music,
Beseeching for a mate.
A bird, the size of my hand:
I wondered how it could sing so hard
An hour came down to rapture,
Second by second.
But twenty years have flown,
And the birds that I remember
For plumage, song, or something else
Are dying out:
The corncrake falls to the combine,
Highwayman shrike hangs up his scythe
And even the lark has gone to ground...
We shall miss them, when they are gone.
Spring will seem like autumn,
The sky too still:
At least I heard the nightingale.