Two Tyto Alba Owls. (Guillermo Granja/Reuters)


Heart-faced Tyto alba to hunt takes flight
To wind, to wing, in barest light
Through shadows draped with care across the sky
Comes with the dark her hidden cry

Wise the hands which craft the night
In which too few take meet and just delight
Stars like virtues, rich stones plainly set,
Whose beauty we oft ignore, and so can forget

Distorted, distracted, is our weakened sight
Squinted, stunted, we cannot see to praise aright
And fears consuming of ill in darkness done
Makes us moonlight, starlight, cool night shun

For we have fallen from a distant, happy height
A time when owls and stars our wonder did excite
A time exultant whose faint echoes still recall
When we walked at peace in darkness before the fall

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