Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN JANUARY, by GORDON BOTTOMLEY



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IN JANUARY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O, shepherd out upon the snow
Last Line: Still creeping agelessly.
Subject(s): January; Shepherds & Shepherdesses


O SHEPARD, out upon the snow,
What lambs are newly born?. . .
I see his long, long shadow go
Across the fields of morn.

Ere dawn the snow-light in the room
Awoke me, and I saw
A pallid earth, a cloudy gloom,
A shape that stirred my awe.

I know the clear untrodden snows
That hide the Winter wheat;
The greyer fields wherein he goes
Are grey with pitting feet.

He feels not how I watch him creep,
He thinks he is alone;
He searches for the heavy sheep
Each windward hedge of stone.

I keep my bed in weariness
When workers have gone forth,
I watch that silent man grow less
Into the snow-packed North;

And men have died in this old room
Through thrice a hundred years
Who saw the shepherd in the gloom,
The shape that never nears.

Briefly I watch; but then I go,
The room will know me not;
Yet from my window, o'er the snow,
When I am well forgot

Shall unknown men look forth to scan
Each far, unchanging tree,
And see a dark and lonely man
Still creeping agelessly.




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