Algy leaned back on a bed of dry grasses and low heather, and gazed out across the low-lying peat bogs to the rocky ridges with their wee caps of snow. The wind was still horribly cold, but Algy knew that the year had turned and, before very long, the larks would start to sing over the bogs and the moorland again. As he soaked up the golden February sunshine, Algy thought of a poem which he often remembered at this time of year:

           The winter moon has such a quiet car
           That all the winter nights are dumb with rest.
           She drives the gradual dark with drooping crest,
           And dreams go wandering from her drowsy star.
           Because the nights are silent, do not wake:
           But there shall tremble through the general earth,
           And over you, a quickening and a birth.
           The sun is near the hill-tops for your sake.

           The latest born of all the days shall creep
           To kiss the tender eyelids of the year;
           And you shall wake, grown young with perfect sleep,
           And smile at the new world, and make it dear
           With living murmurs more than dreams are deep.
           Silence is dead, my Dawn; the morning’s here.

[Algy is quoting the poem February by the early 20th century Anglo-French writer Hilaire Belloc.]

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