THE  OWL

 

Downhill I came hungry and yet not starved;

Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof

Against the North wind: tired, yet so that rest

Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.

 

Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,

Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.

All of the night was quite bared out except

An owl's cry, a most melancholy cry.

 

Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,

No merry note, nor cause of merriment,

But one telling me plain what I escaped

And others could not, that night, as in I went.

 

And salted was my food, and my repose

Salted and sobered, too, by the bird's voice

Speaking for all who lay under the stars,

Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.

 

                          EDWARD THOMAS

                                       (Collected Poems)