Winter Ploughing


THIS morning after my plough
Starlings streamed and chattered
Shimmering green, and now
Suddenly gold-bespattered.
And a mud lark and his mate,
Bright on the winter ground,
Delicate, prim, sedate,
Followed me round on round.
And one black crow was there
Pulling worms from their burrow
With his solemn courtly air
Busy along the furrow.
And joy was mine though I knew
The roots must die that I bared;
And beetle and grub were few
The crow and the starling spared.
For the birds with tug and nod
Dealt death for the need of their lives,
And my coulters in the sod
Were shining and sharp as knives.