Monday, December 31, 2012
The Names of Rabbits
The wall-eyed one, the looker to the side,
And also the hedge-frisker,
The stag of the stubble, long-eared
The animal of the stubble, the springer
The wild animal, the jumper,
The short animal, the lurker
The swift-as-wind, the skulker,
The shagger, the squatter in the hedge,
The dew-beater, the dew hopper,
The sitter on its form, the hopper in the grass,
The fidgety-footed one, the sitter on the ground,
The light-foot, the sitter in the bracken,
The stag of the cabbages, the cropper of herbage,
The low creeper, the sitter-still,
The small-tailed one, the one who turns to the hills.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Rabbit’s Song Outside the Tavern
We, who play under the pines,
We, who dance in the snow
That shines blue in the light of the moon,
Sometimes halt as we go-
Stand with our ears erect,
Our noses testing the air,
To gaze at the golden world
Behind the windows there.
Suns they have in a cave,
Stars, each on a tall white stem,
And the thought of a fox or an owl
Seems never to trouble them.
They laugh and eat and are warm,
Their food is ready at hand,
While hungry out in the cold
We little rabbits stand.
But they never dance as we dance!
They haven't the speed nor the grace.
We scorn both the dog and the cat
Who lie by their fireplace.
We scorn them licking their paws
Their eyes on an upraised spoon-
We who dance hungry and wild
Under a winter's moon.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The White Rabbit
He is white as Helvellyn when winter is well in;
His whiskers are mobile and tender.
If it weren’t for the greed that compels him to feed
Without ceasing, his form would be slender.
With elegant hops he crushes or crops
All the flowers that bloom in the garden;
Yet such is the grace that suffuses his face,
He wins, without asking, our pardon.
The Sun, who rides heaven from Dover to Devon
Inspecting furred folks and their habits,
Breaks out into poesy: “What summer snow is he
Made of, this pearl among rabbits ?”
And at night on the lawn as he waits for the dawn,
Rapt in drems of a rabbit’s perfection,
The moon in her stride sweeps the cloudsets aside
To rejoice in his silver reflection
E. V. Rieu