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The Owl

 DOWNHILL I came, hungry, and yet not starved, 
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof 
Against the north wind; tired, yet so that rest 
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.
Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest, Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except An owl's cry, a most melancholy cry.
Shaken out long and clear upon the hill No merry note, nor cause of merriment, But one telling me plain what I escaped And others could not, that night, as in I went.
And salted was my food, and my repose, Salted and sobered too, by the bird's voice Speaking for all who lay under the stars, Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.

Poem by Edward Thomas
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Book: Shattered Sighs