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 murmer the hills are humming, The forest-kings bend and blow; With hoofs of brass on the baked earth strumming, 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 foreman 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 among 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.
Ballad of Autumn
- by Marie E J Pitt33
DOWN harvest headlands the fairy host Of the poppy banners have flashed and fled, The lilies have faded like ghost and ghost, The ripe rose rots in the garden bed. The grain is garnered, the blooms are shed, Convolvulus springs on the snowdrop's bier, In her stranded gold is the silver thread Of the first grey hair i' the head o' the year.
Like an arrant knave from a bootless boast, The fire-wind back to his North has sped To harry the manes of a haunted coast On a far sea-rim where the stars are dead. Wistful the welkin with wordless dread, Mournful the uplands, all ashen sere— Sad for the snow on a beauteous head— For the first grey hair i' the head o' the year.
Time trysts with Death at the finger-post, Where the broken issues of life are wed— Intone no dirges, fill up the toast To the troops that trip it with silent tread, Merry we'll make it tho' skies be lead, And March-wind's moan be a minstrel drear— A truce to trouble!—we'll drink instead To the first grey hair i' the head o' the year.
South Esk sings on where the furze-fires spread, But we'll mourn no more as of old, my dear, When gorse flames golden and briars flush red With the first grey hair i' the head o' the year.
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