912. On Seeing Two Swallows Late in October, by John Clare

Lone occupiers of a naked sky
When desolate November hovers nigh
And all your fellow tribes in many crowds
Have left the village with the autumn clouds
Careless of old affections for the scene
That made them happy when the fields were green
And left them undisturbed to build their nests
In each old chimney like to welcome guests
Forsaking all like untamed winds they roam
And make with summers an unsettled home
Following her favours to the farthest lands
O'er untraced oceans and untrodden sands
Like happy images they haste away
And leave us lonely till another may

But little lingerers old esteem detains
Ye haply thus to brave the chilly air
When skies grow dull with winter's heavy rains
And all the orchard trees are nearly bare
Yet the old chimneys still are peeping there
Above the russet thatch where summers tide
Of sunny joys gave you such social fare
As makes you haply wishing to abide
In your old dwellings through the changing year
I wish ye well to find a dwelling here
For in the unsocial weather ye would fling
Gleamings of comfort through the winter wide
Twittering as wont above the old fire side
And cheat the surly winter into spring

Source: Major Works

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