The White Owl

by F.J. Patmore

When night is o’er the wood
And moon-scared watch-dogs howl,
Comes froth in search of food
The snowy mystic owl.
His soft, white, ghostly wings
Beat noiselessly the air
Like some lost soul that hopelessly
Is mute in its despair.

But now his hollow note
Rings cheerless through the glade
And o’er the silent moat
He flits from shade to shade.
He hovers, swoops and glides
O’er meadows, moors and streams;
He seems to be some fantasy —
A ghostly bird of dreams.

Why dost thou haunt the night?
Why dost thou love the moon
When other birds delight
To sing their joy at noon?
Art thou then crazed with love,
Or is’t for some fell crime
That thus thou flittest covertly
At this unhallowed time?