Mantled in grey, the dusk steals slowly in,
Crossing the dead, dull fields with footsteps cold.
The rain drips drearily; night's fingers spin
A web of drifting mist o'er wood and wold,
As quiet as death. The sky is silent too,
Hard as granite and as fixed as fate.
The pale pond stands; ringed round with rushes few
But for the coming of the winter night
Of deep December; blowing o'er the graves
Of faded summers, swift the wind in flight
Ripples its silent face with lapping waves.
The rain falls still: bowing, the woods bemoan;
Dark night creeps in, and leaves the world alone.
- Philip Larkin, Winter Nocturne