Freezing dusk is closing
    Like a slow trap of steel
On trees and roads and hills and all
    That can no longer feel.
        But the carp is in its depth
          Like a planet in its heaven.
        And the badger in its bedding
          Like a loaf in the oven.
        And the butterfly in its mummy
          Like a viol in its case.
        And the owl in its feathers
          Like a doll in its lace.

Freezing dusk has tightened
    Like a nut screwed tight
On the starry aeroplane
    Of the soaring night.
        But the trout is in its hole
          Like a chuckle in a sleeper.
        The hare strays down the highway
          Like a root going deeper.
        The snail is dry in the outhouse
          Like a seed in a sunflower.
        The owl is pale on the gatepost
          Like a clock on its tower.

Moonlight freezes the shaggy world
    Like a mammoth of ice -
The past and the future
    Are the jaws of a steel vice.
        But the cod is in the tide-rip
          Like a key in a purse.
        The deer are on the bare-blown hill
          Like smiles on a nurse.
        The flies are behind the plaster
          Like the lost score of a jig.
        Sparrows are in the ivy-clump
          Like money in a pig.

Such a frost
    The flimsy moon
        Has lost her wits.

          A star falls.

The sweating farmers
    Turn in their sleep
        Like oxen on spits.

 
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