Featured Poem: The Wild Horses by Mary Gilmore

Where the wild horses trample the fern,
Let the deep vales re-echo and wonder,
When, like an eddy, they circle and turn!
Watch the lithe motion
Run free as an ocean,
Never has man laid a hand on a head;
Never a halter
Has bid a step falter,
Never a crest bent down to be led!

Mark, in their starting, the pride of their bearing,
Swift wheel the leaders, each in his place;
Snorting, they stare at us, timid and daring,
Ere with whirl they are off at a race.
O, the wild sally,
As, down through the valley,
Turn they again to the mountains they know;
Chased and the chaser
Outstretched like a racer,
Where, as the wind, unconquered they go!

Follow them, hunter, follow and follow -
Let the heart pound its answering beat -
Over the top, and into the hollow,
Where the loud echoes awake and repeat!

On through the timber
Quick thew and limber,
While the wide nostril drinks deep of the air;
Never feet blunder
Where tree and rock sunder,
Never a balk, but its conquest is there.

Lift, for your life, where the low logs are lying;
Swing from the branches, sway from the brush;
Clamber to the rocks - the hoof-beats are flying -
Bend to the withers, and leap for the rush!
O, the hard panting
For breath that is wanting;
O, the drooped head, and the fallen-in flanks!
Winded and shaken,
Yet never o'ertaken,
Hear the shrill leader rally the ranks!

What though the pommel scarce keep you from reeling;
What though the breath be almost a cry;
That though all turn in a dream that is stealing
Sense from intention and light from the eye -
Follow them, follow
By height and by hollow;
Follow them, follow, whatever the course!
Soon will the wonder
Die out with the thunder,
Soon will the mountain forget the wild horse.

(C) Mary Gilmore

(see comments for more information about why this poem was selected to be a Featured Poem on the StormSage Central Blog).

(Brought to you from the SSC Archives 1/4/10).