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The Owl

by
 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.

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