Signs of Fine Weather to Come
Then, with tight throats, the ravens repeat their clear caws three or four
times, and often in the high perches where they bed down at night,
happy with some odd, unaccustomed pleasure, cry
raucously among themselves amid the leaves. They delight,
storms over and gone, to see again their small broods and sweet nests.
I hardly believe that their instincts are indeed divinely given
or that Fate awarded them greater foreknowledge of things
but rather that when the weather and intermittent spring
rains alter course and Jupiter, soaked by the South Winds,
thickens what was just now thin and makes the thick loose,
the responses of their senses change, and their hearts receive
perceptions other than those left when the wind pursued
the clouds—hence that harmony of birdsong in the fields,
cattle lowing happily, and the ravens’ guttural exalting.
—Virgil, Georgics 1.410-423, tr. Janet Lembke