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.  

                             Elizabeth Coatsworth

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