[Editor: This poem by Marie E. J. Pitt was published in The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses (1911).]
A Gallop of Fire.
When the north wind moans thro’ the blind creek courses
And revels with harsh, hot sand,
I loose the horses, the wild, red horses,
I loose the horses, the mad, red horses,
And terror is on the land.
With prophetic murmur the hills are humming,
The forest-kings bend and blow;
With hoofs of brass on the baked earth drumming,
O brave red horses, they hear us coming,
And the legions of Death lean low.
O’er the wooded height, and the sandy hollow
Where the boles to the axe have rung,
Tho’ they fly the foeman as flies the swallow,
The fierce red horses, my horses, follow
With flanks to the faint earth flung.
Or with frenzied hieroglyphs, fear embossing
Night’s sable horizon bars,
Thro’ tangled mazes of death-darts crossing,
I swing my leaders and watch them tossing
Their red manes against the stars.
But when South winds sob in the drowned creek courses
And whisper to hard wet sand,
I hold the horses, the spent red horses,
I hold the horses, the tired red horses,
And silence is on the land.
Yea, the South wind sobs ’mong the drowned creek courses
For sorrows no man shall bind —
Ah, God! for the horses, the black plumed horses,
Dear God! for the horses, Death’s own pale horses,
That raced in the tracks behind.
Marie E. J. Pitt, The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses, Melbourne: Specialty Press, 1911, pages 74-75
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