Monday, January 09, 2006
Schoolboys in Winter
The schoolboys still their morning ramble takeNotes by W.H. Auden:
To neighbouring village school with playing speed,
Loitering with pastime's leisure till they quake,
Oft looking up the wild-geese droves to heed,
Watching the letters which their journeys make;
Or plucking haws on which their fieldfares feed,
And hips and sloes; and on each shallow lake
Making glib slides, where they like shadows go
Till some fresh pastimes in their minds awake.
Then off they start anew and hasty blow
Their numbed and clumpsing fingers till they glow;
Then races with their shadows wildly run
That stride huge giants o'er the shining snow
In the pale splendour of the winter sun.
haws: hawthorne berries.
fieldfares: small birds belonging to the thrush family.
sloes: fruit of the black thorn.
glib: slippery, smooth.
clumpsing: benumbed with cold.
I would add:
hips: fruit of the dog-rose.