Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic: not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.
There is a tawny owl living in a hollow in the horse chestnut tree in the garden. In autumn, the female's kew-wick sounds for hours each evening and late into the night. As I type Puck's monologue from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' I hear her calling.
The call of the tawny owl sounds like 'komm mit' (come with) in German and is said to presage a death.