Sonnet for the hare

Although the animal and birdlife has otherwise been so rich, I have been saddened to see only one hare and a couple of forms this spring. Usually there are lots of them. It was a real pleasure to discover there are several hares bunking up with the rabbits on the bank across the lane. I noticed them this evening, the rabbits quietly cropping the grass as usual, and a couple of hares chasing one another about like mad things. A detail in the bigger picture perhaps, but it made me happy.




Winding white, sweet-thorned, the roses climb

And ramble wild among hibiscus boughs;

Is this the moment longed for since the time

When spring was whispered? Now the west wind soughs

In branches full-leafed, full of nesting birds.

They nestle closer, once were timid things

That fled, but now I shape their songs in words

Of pleasure in their bright and gaudy wings.

And when I see the hares race on the hill,

Long legs, long ears and full of springtime joy,

I feel perfection in the air distill,

That no fear of the hunter can alloy.

I’ll follow where they lead, their wild hearts’ beat,

To where the flowered plain and free sky meet.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

22 thoughts on “Sonnet for the hare”

  1. I’m happy there are hares, and hopefully they’re a sign of confidence in more appearing. When I read the last line, I felt transported. What a grand place it must be, where they meet.

    1. One of the descriptions of Tír na nÓg is of a plain multicoloured with flowers humming with bees. I can understand that it could be heaven.
      The hares are safe up there. It’s the ones that lived in the uncultivated places where the hunters hang out in the winter that have gone. Well, they’ll have nothing to kill next season, will they?

    1. They’re safe if they stay on that side of the lane. There are three big houses carved out of farmland, all with big manicured gardens but the one in the middle also has huge trees and a thick hedge along the bank. The hunters would never dare go into a place that looks so well-tended.

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