Ernest G Moll(25 August 1900 - 15 May 1997 / Murtoa / Victoria / Australia)
- by Ernest G Moll20
They come each morning to the gate, are milked and wander off to feed; six cows, a calf and in the lead a brindled bull, old, fat sedate.
And every evening they are back, loafing along the quarter-mile of dusty lane in single file, the old bull trailing up the track.
I would not load with thought that brings meanings deep-conjured in the mind this quiet scene-but here I find the rhythm of eternal things.
And envy him who takes his pail jingling to met them at the gate; sun-up, sun-down, that constant date which neither he nor they will fail.
I envy him whose life allows him the cool blessedness; to stand and simply watch the coming and later the going of the cows.
- by Ernest G Moll11
I should have known, when I undid his chain, That darkness had been busy at his brain As at an anvil, sharpening a fang. I should have known it by the glint that sprang Into his eyes when the chain fell and he Stood stiffly there, as though to let me see That he had all the time in the world to spare, If I so felt, to match me stare for stare, His heart being innocent.
I watched him go Out through the gate with just the slightest show Of hurry in his trot, as though he kept His body back from where his thoughts leapt Ahead to the red kill; that holding back A dog will never show unless the track He follows is a secret he would keep From men whose fingers smell of lambs and sheep.
I should have known, had I but had the eye, That strain in hip and curving flank and thigh For what must happen in a hawk's neck when He spots the quail way down there, but with men Too near in yard or paddock to make safe The whistling lunge; the tension of that chafe That is when lust has the red tongue on fire But cunning is the muzzle on desire.
So he went slowly till I lost him quite In the thick fog that made another night Over the paddocks where beneath the trees The lambs would be hard at it on their knees Draining the heavy udders. In that fog A lamb would learn the coming of a dog Too late even to get upon its feet, Or in one wild and lost and desperate bleat To say that death was hard and life was sweet.
He got his fifty in a mile that day, Crunched through the shoulders in the killer's way, Ribs broken in to crush the leaping heart. Though great my loss, I recognized the art With which the thing was done. What speed, what power, He must have known for that one breathless hour, When long restraint was straw before the urge Of instinct, the red longing, the hot surge That leapt and thundered and would not be still Till fifty lambs lay dead about the hill!
He always liked to work the sheep close in, Sniffing the blood, no doubt, beneath the skin He dared not tear because of watching eyes. Why did I trust that shifty compromise! Why must sheep stand, by fear together drifted, Helpless as flowers when the scythe is lifted! Who was at fault, the dog, or I, or the sheep?
But since a farmer needs must have his sleep, That night I put a bullet in his head, Gave the world back to God, and went to bed.
Poems by Ernest G Moll, Ernest G Moll's poems collection. Ernest G Moll is a classical and famous poet (25 August 1900 - 15 May 1997 / Murtoa / Victoria / Australia). Share all poems of Ernest G Moll.