“Farewell to winter’s frozen water-weeds.
Farewell to dark hills and clouds that foul the sky;
Farewell to snowbirds eating ragweed seeds
And winds that blow dead leaves across the rye.
And shake old sparrow nests among the eaves;
Farewell to daisies under pasture stumps;
Farewell warm rabbit blood upon dead leaves
And greenbriar thickets where the rabbits live.
Farewell weed fields so gray and desolate;
In hunting season where men searched to kill.
But now the scattered birds call to their mates
And coveys reunite upon the hill—
Late winter and the hunting season’s over;
Wild crippled rabbits sleep without a cover.”
–Jesse Stuart, Sonnet 324 from Man With A Bull-Tongue Plow (1934)
Jesse Stuart (1907-1984). Novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher. Born in Greenup County, Kentucky.