An original poem by Brenda Sharp

The Coppice Gate

A new century’s interpretation of

'The Darkling Thrush' by Brenda Sharp


Was the darkling thrush of great portent,

His joyous carollings a disguised lament

For not only a century, but an era past?

A mere two decades would then be cast,

Before a war of utter devastation

Brought Hardy’s poems of its desolation;

And yet another conflict, the sequel,

Torment and pain again in equal.

Then half a century of healing, mending,

Great changes, but our integrity defending

The time of a time-torn man.


Our millennium dawned…


With purposeful enthusiasm and strength of will,

Some great achievements we desired to fulfil;

Thirteen years in we’ve long since tried

To save a part of our world from genocide.

Brave hearts we’ve lost.

Does Hardy see our grief

And what would now be his belief?

The icecaps melt with inevitable change,

Full comprehension beyond most men’s range.

The moon and the planets, what would be his plan?

After Darwin, another acceptance

For the time torn man?


To return to our thrush and the coppice gate,

‘The century’s cloudy canopy’ we can now relate

To a cathedral crypt, first built, first blessed,

For a man-made celestial city, scientifically addressed.

Aerial trails, not bind-stems now score the sky,

The wind blasts in its turn but with triumphant cry.

Hardy’s premonition on that dark deepening day

When the stark, agèd thrush held soulful sway,

A time-torn man he had to be,

And now with blessèd hope, so are we.


© Brenda Sharp (originallywritten in 2013, submitted May 2020)

This image may be subject to copyright

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