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The Last Leap

Written by: Adam Lindsay Gordon | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 ALL is over! fleet career, 
Dash of greyhound slipping thongs, 
Flight of falcon, bound of deer, 
Mad hoof-thunder in our rear, 
Cold air rushing up our lungs, 
Din of many tongues. 

Once again, one struggle good, 
One vain effort;—he must dwell 
Near the shifted post, that stood 
Where the splinters of the wood, 
Lying in the torn tracks, tell 
How he struck and fell. 

Crest where cold drops beaded cling, 
Small ear drooping, nostril full, 
Glazing to a scarlet ring, 
Flanks and haunches quivering, 
Sinews stiffening, void and null, 
Dumb eyes sorrowful. 

Satin coat that seems to shine 
Duller now, black braided tress 
That a softer hand than mine 
Far away was wont to twine, 
That in meadows far from this 
Softer lips might kiss. 

All is over! this is death, 
And I stand to watch thee die, 
Brave old horse! with bated breath 
Hardly drawn through tight-clenched teeth, 
Lip indented deep, but eye 
Only dull and dry. 

Musing on the husk and chaff 
Gathered where life’s tares are sown, 
Thus I speak, and force a laugh, 
That is half a sneer and half 
An involuntary groan, 
In a stifled tone— 

‘Rest, old friend! thy day, though rife 
With its toil, hath ended soon; 
We have had our share of strife, 
Tumblers in the masque of life, 
In the pantomime of noon 
Clown and pantaloon. 

‘With a flash that ends thy pain, 
Respite and oblivion blest 
Come to greet thee. I in vain 
Fall: I rise to fall again: 
Thou hast fallen to thy rest— 
And thy fall is best