Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Bird song at Wytham

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Now Wytham ripples with cadenzas bright:
Tail-cocked among the coverts, loud and strong
Shouts the brown wren, his busy trills upflung
To blackcap fluting in the leafy height.
Sweet robins tinkle chains of liquid light,
Grasshopper warbler runs his reel of song,
And, bubbling in the thicket all day long,
Secretive nightingales rehearse the night.
Roused by the clacking pheasant’s whirring dash,
Long, grey and falcon-winged the cuckoo flies,
Rounds the great beech-tops with hoot-hollow cries,
Cuckooing clear, now near, now far, now gone
Down the wide meadows where the elbowed ash
Waits till mid-May to put her green coat on.

Oxford Times, 1 May 1964
The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983