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Michael Hamburger Four Poems

Dark Solstice, 2006

Day after day no glint of the sun, Morning hoarfrost even leaden, No visible moon, not one star, The winter viburnum’s flushed white Unfragrant in dankness by day, by night.

Against absence, against nature Put out food as ever, provide For the larger, the flimsiest, Pheasant, magpie, dove, Chaffinch to wren and goldcrest, The grey heron raptor too Should one fish survive in the pond.

Believe still, while you can, In swallowtail, damselfly, bee, Night-moth, day-moth, ladybird, Green hairstreak revealed only once, A long dormant bat’s resurgence.

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