Near, far, unearthly, break the birds
From spectral bush and tree,
Into a strange and drowsy praise,
The flush of dawn to see.
Old ashen rooks, on ragged wing,
And heads with sidling eye,
Sweep in the silvery heights of daybreak,
Silent through the day.
The restless robin — like a brook
Tinkling in frozen snow —
Shakes his clear, sudden, piercing bells,
Flits elf-like to and fro.
Cock to cock yells, the enormous earth
Lies like a dream outspread
Under the canopy of space,
Stretching infinite overhead.
Light on the wool-fleeced ewes pours in;
Meek-faced they snuff the air;
The glint-horned oxen sit agaze;
The east burns orient-fair.
The milk-white mists of night wreathe up
From meadows evenly gray —
Their every blade of grass ablaze
With dewdrops drenched in day.
Source: A Choice of de la Mare's Verse