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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