How can I paraphrase the second and third stanza of "The Darkling Thrush"?
The original title of the poem, written in 1900, was "By the Century's Deathbed." Thus the reference to "The Century's corpse" in stanza 2:
It was a cold, bleak winter day. And a cold and bleak time for the poet, too. The earth looked featureless and desolate as if entombed by the grey clouds above. The wind sang a sad and mournful song. Everything seemed dead and buried, no sign of life was stirring. And the poet was like that too: listless and lifeless.
In stanza 3, somewhere in the dark forest a sound was heard. It was a happy sound seemingly out of nowhere and surely unexpected. An old thrush began to sing in spite of the wind and cold. An act of hope, a call to better things perhaps, was heard in the distance.