How bitter it is to have daughters,
sighed the old sloe-tree in the fierce wind.

But you, said a passing grandfather,
yield a knotty stick to beat them with.

And a leaning hazel, weighted down
by squirrels, lent a punishing wand,

et cetera...and so it went on --
the trees conferring (the birch as well),

with the human intervention --
though the blackthorn found no consolation,

bearing them year in, year out, the pale
florets which scattered in the wind.

And the small sour fruit was pricked with pins
to flavour the driest of all dry gins.




Back to contents page