Blackthorn Winter

Scraps of blackthorn blossom fleck my coat,
Another gust of hail, and down they float;
A fine spring this— the earth as cold as stone,
North-easterlies that cut you to the bone.

The primroses have withered, one by one,
The bluebells cower, praying for the sun,
Rumbling thunder stalks the streaming hills,
Sneaking frost has slain the daffodils.

My boots are caked in mud; the dog is, too.
Above a clump of ash, the sun breaks through,
A sudden glance of light on bud and bark,
My heart leaps up— the soul song of a lark!