Day in the Country

by ANNE DRAKE
LOVELY this place where no man raises
Towering city, quarried stone,
Only the trees and the starry spaces,
Valley and hill, and we alone.

But the child speaks:

“Mother!

After April the spring goes,
Summer returns,
Too swiftly fades the rose;
Too soon the bright hill burns
And then is bare.”
Ah, but the hare runs free in the clover,
And the wild deer under the apple tree
Grazes and calls and turns to her lover
And the summer swallow flies high and free!

But the child speaks:

“Mother!

Under the Hunter’s Moon
Eyes bright with fear
Signal that death comes soon,
Signal the slaughtered deer,
The small dead hare!”
Night falls softly, child, on all our kind,
Night that is full of sleep and quivering sound .
Let us go then — we, the uncertain, the blind,
Who run with the hare, who hunt with the baying hound!