Sonnet for New Moon of December

Hail, bright crescent, singing to barren wastes,
newly enriched by soft, gentle rain.
In warm nests now gather both birds and beasts,
to feast on such berries as yet remain,
to drink of fat rootstock, eat feckless mouse,
or gobble up insect under bark.
Each family lives by old rules of its house:
eat sunlight or flesh, hunt by day or dark,
and dwell in hollowed oak or hollowed earth,
according to known customs of its clan.
Each studies in turn, death, living and birth,
acting happily within shapeless plan.
And you, pale Lady, bring shape to all life:
scything change by phases of peace and strife.

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