There is hardly a breeze. The February sun
Stretches forth long fingers, and begins the slow thaw
Of our deep-frozen bones, so that things new begun
Will, in the coming year, ripen, grow and mature.
The church bells chime the hour, tediously questioning
Our good use of the time, mocking our intentions,
As though we could never succeed in fashioning
Anything that endures, despite our pretensions.
And night comes slowly on, the light in the West dims
As the sun disappears below the horizon.
The moon rises between two great clouds in the East.
Stars come out one by one. An ***, sad lowly beast,
Complains loud to the sky that his rations are gone,
And I feel his dull pain in all my aching limbs.
In English English an *** is a donkey, in American English an *** is something else. Maybe it's a donkey as well, I don't know. At all events, ***** are generally misbehaving, truculent and stubborn, though the pilgrim's who pass by here are generally in love with their *****.