White steeds of autumn are yet spanceled in the barn
Their hoofs , clatter on the cobble stone
Restless ; chime of steel on stone ; of sands falling through an hourglass
The dogs are yelping at their feet : catching scent
And the hunt master of the seasons sips his stirrup cup.
Leaves dry curl crisp ; crackle like rice paper
Fall full and lusty crimson on the yet green lawn.
Their poems long seeped through ; leached into the memory of the soil,
In the swirling fog of this October morning
The tide is falling back as the moon sinks a wraithlike shawl
Silver against a mercury sky
Falling lower in the west
The horses rattle the bit and yellow teeth and steel
And spit and dew
Strain against the harness , knowing the bugle’s
Shrill battle cry is near . So near
The last of summer too is sinking with the moon
Let this last hunt begin, now and let old men
Huddle to the fireside , maidens chasten their suntanned legs
With the modesty of petticoats in the looming frosts ;
Farmers look to the heavens and the rising Orion the hunter
Earlier each evening in the East.
The baying of the hounds ,
In abandon , they hunt down these gentle days
Across the stubble fields of autumn
The lame fox red days of summer are fleeing
Before the chasing pack
As the sap slipsback down the bark
The world begins its timid decent along the winter arc
Across the ecliptic ; through the rising
Old people dread the coming winter
And the young dream restlessly the days
Of snow and ice to frolic away in jubilance
The days before Christmas
For the elders each weekend someone in the parish dies .
He went quickly in the end- they say
“But he’d had good innings ” say the young
And the middle aged look disconsolately each way
Come ! There’s a nip in the air !
The trumpet sounds .
The horses leash against the reins ; twitch their flanks
The dogs are baying for the scent ; snouts wet
And drooling before the chase
The hunt-master leads the pack out the gate
Across the harvest weary soil ,
Tally hoo!! -The frothing bit ; the sweated saddles;
Ring in the Winter !
Lets route these wasted muted days !
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