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Best Famous Horse Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Horse poems. This is a select list of the best famous Horse poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Horse poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of horse poems.

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Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch | |

A Nocturnal Reverie

In such a night, when every louder wind
Is to its distant cavern safe confined;
And only gentle Zephyr fans his wings,
And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings;
Or from some tree, famed for the owl's delight,
She, hollowing clear, directs the wand'rer right:
In such a night, when passing clouds give place,
Or thinly veil the heav'ns' mysterious face;
When in some river, overhung with green,
The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen;
When freshened grass now bears itself upright,
And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,
Whence springs the woodbind, and the bramble-rose,
And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;
Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,
Yet checkers still with red the dusky brakes
When scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine,
Shew trivial beauties watch their hour to shine;
Whilst Salisb'ry stands the test of every light,
In perfect charms, and perfect virtue bright:
When odors, which declined repelling day,
Through temp'rate air uninterrupted stray;
When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,
And falling waters we distinctly hear;
When through the gloom more venerable shows
Some ancient fabric, awful in repose,
While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,
And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale:
When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing through th' adjoining meads,
Whose stealing pace, and lengthened shade we fear,
Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear:
When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,
And unmolested kine rechew the cud;
When curlews cry beneath the village walls,
And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;
Their shortlived jubilee the creatures keep,
Which but endures, whilst tyrant man does sleep;
When a sedate content the spirit feels,
And no fierce light disturbs, whilst it reveals;
But silent musings urge the mind to seek
Something, too high for syllables to speak;
Till the free soul to a composedness charmed,
Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
O'er all below a solemn quiet grown,
Joys in th' inferior world, and thinks it like her own:
In such a night let me abroad remain,
Till morning breaks, and all's confused again;
Our cares, our toils, our clamors are renewed,
Or pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued.


Written by Robert Browning | |

My Last Duchess

That's my last duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive.
I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will't please you sit and look at her? I said "Frà Pandolf" by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus.
Sir, 'twas not Her husband's presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps Frà Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps Over my lady's wrist too much," or "Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat": such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy.
She had A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 'twas all one! My favor at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least.
She thanked men—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift.
Who'd stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech—which I have not—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say, "Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark"—and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, —E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop.
Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together.
There she stands As if alive.
Will't please you rise? We'll meet The company below, then.
I repeat, The Count your master's known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretense Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter's self as I avowed At starting, is my object.
Nay, we'll go Together down, sir.
Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!


Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!" he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Some one had blundered: Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred.
Flashed all their sabres bare, Flashed as they turned in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wondered: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right through the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reeled from the sabre-stroke Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came through the jaws of Death Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!


More great poems below...

Written by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

All in green went my love riding

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.
four lean hounds crouched low and smiling the merry deer ran before.
Fleeter be they than dappled dreams the swift sweet deer the red rare deer.
Four red roebuck at a white water the cruel bugle sang before.
Horn at hip went my love riding riding the echo down into the silver dawn.
four lean hounds crouched low and smiling the level meadows ran before.
Softer be they than slippered sleep the lean lithe deer the fleet flown deer.
Four fleet does at a gold valley the famished arrow sang before.
Bow at belt went my love riding riding the mountain down into the silver dawn.
four lean hounds crouched low and smiling the sheer peaks ran before.
Paler be they than daunting death the sleek slim deer the tall tense deer.
Four tell stags at a green mountain the lucky hunter sang before.
All in green went my love riding on a great horse of gold into the silver dawn.
four lean hounds crouched low and smiling my heart fell dead before.


Written by Wang Wei | |

A SONG OF A GIRL FROM LOYANG

There's a girl from Loyang in the door across the street, 
She looks fifteen, she may be a little older.
.
.
.
While her master rides his rapid horse with jade bit an bridle, Her handmaid brings her cod-fish in a golden plate.
On her painted pavilions, facing red towers, Cornices are pink and green with peach-bloom and with willow, Canopies of silk awn her seven-scented chair, And rare fans shade her, home to her nine-flowered curtains.
Her lord, with rank and wealth and in the bud of life, Exceeds in munificence the richest men of old.
He favours this girl of lowly birth, he has her taught to dance; And he gives away his coral-trees to almost anyone.
The wind of dawn just stirs when his nine soft lights go out, Those nine soft lights like petals in a flying chain of flowers.
Between dances she has barely time for singing over the songs; No sooner is she dressed again than incense burns before her.
Those she knows in town are only the rich and the lavish, And day and night she is visiting the hosts of the gayest mansions.
.
.
.
Who notices the girl from Yue with a face of white jade, Humble, poor, alone, by the river, washing silk?


Written by Sylvia Plath | |

Elm

for Ruth Fainlight


I know the bottom, she says.
I know it with my great tap root; It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there.
Is it the sea you hear in me, Its dissatisfactions? Or the voice of nothing, that was you madness? Love is a shadow.
How you lie and cry after it.
Listen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.
All night I shall gallup thus, impetuously, Till your head is a stone, your pillow a little turf, Echoing, echoing.
Or shall I bring you the sound of poisons? This is rain now, the big hush.
And this is the fruit of it: tin white, like arsenic.
I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets.
Scorched to the root My red filaments burn and stand,a hand of wires.
Now I break up in pieces that fly about like clubs.
A wind of such violence Will tolerate no bystanding: I must shriek.
The moon, also, is merciless: she would drag me Cruelly, being barren.
Her radiance scathes me.
Or perhaps I have caught her.
I let her go.
I let her go Diminished and flat, as after radical surgery.
How your bad dreams possess and endow me.
I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.
I am terrified by this dark thing That sleeps in me; All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.
Clouds pass and disperse.
Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables? Is it for such I agitate my heart? I am incapable of more knowledge.
What is this, this face So murderous in its strangle of branches? ---- Its snaky acids kiss.
It petrifies the will.
These are the isolate, slow faults That kill, that kill, that kill.


Written by Wang Wei | |

AT PARTING

I dismount from my horse and I offer you wine, 
And I ask you where you are going and why.
And you answer: "I am discontent And would rest at the foot of the southern mountain.
So give me leave and ask me no questions.
White clouds pass there without end.
"


Written by Wang Wei | |

SONG OF AN OLD GENERAL

When he was a youth of fifteen or twenty, 
He chased a wild horse, he caught him and rode him, 
He shot the white-browed mountain tiger, 
He defied the yellow-bristled Horseman of Ye.
Fighting single- handed for a thousand miles, With his naked dagger he could hold a multitude.
.
.
.
Granted that the troops of China were as swift as heaven's thunder And that Tartar soldiers perished in pitfalls fanged with iron, General Wei Qing's victory was only a thing of chance.
And General Li Guang's thwarted effort was his fate, not his fault.
Since this man's retirement he is looking old and worn: Experience of the world has hastened his white hairs.
Though once his quick dart never missed the right eye of a bird, Now knotted veins and tendons make his left arm like an osier.
He is sometimes at the road-side selling melons from his garden, He is sometimes planting willows round his hermitage.
His lonely lane is shut away by a dense grove, His vacant window looks upon the far cold mountains But, if he prayed, the waters would come gushing for his men And never would he wanton his cause away with wine.
.
.
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War-clouds are spreading, under the Helan Range; Back and forth, day and night, go feathered messages; In the three River Provinces, the governors call young men -- And five imperial edicts have summoned the old general.
So he dusts his iron coat and shines it like snow- Waves his dagger from its jade hilt in a dance of starry steel.
He is ready with his strong northern bow to smite the Tartar chieftain -- That never a foreign war-dress may affront the Emperor.
.
.
.
There once was an aged Prefect, forgotten and far away, Who still could manage triumph with a single stroke.


Written by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

Contentment

 "Man wants but little here below.
" LITTLE I ask; my wants are few; I only wish a hut of stone, (A very plain brown stone will do,) That I may call my own; And close at hand is such a one, In yonder street that fronts the sun.
Plain food is quite enough for me; Three courses are as good as ten;-- If Nature can subsist on three, Thank Heaven for three.
Amen! I always thought cold victual nice;-- My choice would be vanilla-ice.
I care not much for gold or land;-- Give me a mortgage here and there,-- Some good bank-stock, some note of hand, Or trifling railroad share,-- I only ask that Fortune send A little more than I shall spend.
Honors are silly toys, I know, And titles are but empty names; I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,-- But only near St.
James; I'm very sure I should not care To fill our Gubernator's chair.
Jewels are baubles; 't is a sin To care for such unfruitful things;-- One good-sized diamond in a pin,-- Some, not so large, in rings,-- A ruby, and a pearl, or so, Will do for me;--I laugh at show.
My dame should dress in cheap attire; (Good, heavy silks are never dear;) - I own perhaps I might desire Some shawls of true Cashmere,-- Some marrowy crapes of China silk, Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.
I would not have the horse I drive So fast that folks must stop and stare; An easy gait--two forty-five-- Suits me; I do not care;-- Perhaps, for just a single spurt, Some seconds less would do no hurt.
Of pictures, I should like to own Titians aud Raphaels three or four,-- I love so much their style and tone, One Turner, and no more, (A landscape,--foreground golden dirt,-- The sunshine painted with a squirt.
) Of books but few,--some fifty score For daily use, and bound for wear; The rest upon an upper floor;-- Some little luxury there Of red morocco's gilded gleam And vellum rich as country cream.
Busts, cameos, gems,--such things as these, Which others often show for pride, I value for their power to please, And selfish churls deride;-- One Stradivarius, I confess, Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.
Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn, Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;-- Shall not carved tables serve my turn, But all must be of buhl? Give grasping pomp its double share,-- I ask but one recumbent chair.
Thus humble let me live and die, Nor long for Midas' golden touch; If Heaven more generous gifts deny, I shall not miss them much,-- Too grateful for the blessing lent Of simple tastes and mind content!


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

Laus Deo

 It is done!
Clang of bell and roar of gun
Send the tidings up and down.
How the belfries rock and reel! How the great guns, peal on peal, Fling the joy from town to town! Ring, O bells! Every stroke exulting tells Of the burial hour of crime.
Loud and long, that all may hear, Ring for every listening ear Of Eternity and Time! Let us kneel: God's own voice is in that peal, And this spot is holy ground.
Lord, forgive us! What are we That our eyes this glory see, That our ears have heard this sound! For the Lord On the whirlwind is abroad; In the earthquake He has spoken; He has smitten with His thunder The iron walls asunder, And the gates of brass are broken! Loud and long Lift the old exulting song; Sing with Miriam by the sea, He has cast the mighty down; Horse and rider sink and drown; 'He hath triumphed gloriously!' Did we dare, In our agony of prayer, Ask for more than He has done? When was ever His right hand Over any time or land Stretched as now beneath the sun? How they pale, Ancient myth and song and tale, In this wonder of our days When the cruel rod of war Blossoms white with righteous law, And the wrath of man is praise! Blotted out! All within and all about Shall a fresher life begin; Freer breathe the universe As it rolls its heavy curse On the dead and buried sin! It is done! In the circuit of the sun Shall the sound thereof go forth.
It shall bid the sad rejoice, It shall give the dumb a voice, It shall belt with joy the earth! Ring and swing, Bells of joy! On morning's wing Sound the song of praise abroad! With a sound of broken chains Tell the nations that He reigns, Who alone is Lord and God!


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

Barbara Frietchie

 Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about them orchards sweep, Apple and peach tree fruited deep, Fair as the garden of the Lord To the eyes of the famished rebel horde, On that pleasant morn of the early fall When Lee marched over the mountain-wall; Over the mountains winding down, Horse and foot, into Frederick town.
Forty flags with their silver stars, Forty flags with their crimson bars, Flapped in the morning wind: the sun Of noon looked down, and saw not one.
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then, Bowed with her fourscore years and ten; Bravest of all in Frederick town, She took up the flag the men hauled down; In her attic window the staff she set, To show that one heart was loyal yet, Up the street came the rebel tread, Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.
Under his slouched hat left and right He glanced; the old flag met his sight.
'Halt!' - the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
'Fire!' - out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash; It rent the banner with seam and gash.
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.
She leaned far out on the window-sill, And shook it forth with a royal will.
'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country's flag,' she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came; The nobler nature within him stirred To life at that woman's deed and word; 'Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on! he said.
All day long through Frederick street Sounded the tread of marching feet: All day long that free flag tost Over the heads of the rebel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell On the loyal winds that loved it well; And through the hill-gaps sunset light Shone over it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er, And the Rebel rides on his raids nor more.
Honor to her! and let a tear Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls' bier.
Over Barbara Frietchie's grave, Flag of Freedom and Union, wave! Peace and order and beauty draw Round they symbol of light and law; And ever the stars above look down On thy stars below in Frederick town!


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

From Snow-Bound 11:1-40 116-154

 The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky Its mute and ominous prophecy, A portent seeming less than threat, It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout, Of homespun stuff could quite shut out, A hard, dull bitterness of cold, That checked, mid-vein, the circling race Of life-blood in the sharpened face, The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east: we heard the roar Of Ocean on his wintry shore, And felt the strong pulse throbbing there Beat with low rhythm our inland air.
Meanwhile we did your nightly chores,-- Brought in the wood from out of doors, Littered the stalls, and from the mows Raked down the herd's-grass for the cows; Heard the horse whinnying for his corn; And, sharply clashing horn on horn, Impatient down the stanchion rows The cattle shake their walnut bows; While, peering from his early perch Upon the scaffold's pole of birch, The cock his crested helmet bent And down his querulous challenge sent.
Unwarmed by any sunset light The gray day darkened into night, A night made hoary with the swarm And whirl-dance of the blinding storm, As zigzag, wavering to and fro Crossed and recrossed the wingèd snow: And ere the early bed-time came The white drift piled the window-frame, And through the glass the clothes-line posts Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.
* As night drew on, and, from the crest Of wooded knolls that ridged the west, The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank From sight beneath the smothering bank, We piled, with care, our nightly stack Of wood against the chimney-back,-- The oaken log, green, huge, and thick, And on its top the stout back-stick; The knotty forestick laid apart, And filled between with curious art The ragged brush; then, hovering near, We watched the first red blaze appear, Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam On whitewashed wall and sagging beam, Until the old, rude-furnished room Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom; While radiant with a mimic flame Outside the sparkling drift became, And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed, The Turks' heads on the andirons glowed; While childish fancy, prompt to tell The meaning of the miracle, Whispered the old rhyme: "Under the tree, When fire outdoors burns merrily, There the witches are making tea.
" The moon above the eastern wood Shone at its full; the hill-range stood Transfigured in the silver flood, Its blown snows flashing cold and keen, Dead white, save where some sharp ravine Took shadow, or the somber green Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night Most fitting that unwarming light, Which only seemed where'er it fell To make the coldness visible.


Written by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Road and Hills

 I shall go away 
To the brown hills, the quiet ones, 
The vast, the mountainous, the rolling, 
Sun-fired and drowsy! 

My horse snuffs delicately 
At the strange wind; 
He settles to a swinging trot; his hoofs tramp the dust.
The road winds, straightens, Slashes a marsh, Shoulders out a bridge, Then -- Again the hills.
Unchanged, innumerable, Bowing huge, round backs; Holding secret, immense converse: In gusty voices, Fruitful, fecund, toiling Like yoked black oxen.
The clouds pass like great, slow thoughts And vanish In the intense blue.
My horse lopes; the saddle creaks and sways.
A thousand glittering spears of sun slant from on high.
The immensity, the spaces, Are like the spaces Between star and star.
The hills sleep.
If I put my hand on one, I would feel the vast heave of its breath.
I would start away before it awakened And shook the world from its shoulders.
A cicada's cry deepens the hot silence.
The hills open To show a slope of poppies, Ardent, noble, heroic, A flare, a great flame of orange; Giving sleepy, brittle scent That stings the lungs.
A creeping wind slips through them like a ferret; they bow and dance, answering Beauty's voice .
.
.
The horse whinnies.
I dismount And tie him to the grey worn fence.
I set myself against the javelins of grass and sun; And climb the rounded breast, That flows like a sea-wave.
The summit crackles with heat, there is no shelter, no hollow from the flagellating glare.
I lie down and look at the sky, shading my eyes.
My body becomes strange, the sun takes it and changes it, it does not feel, it is like the body of another.
The air blazes.
The air is diamond.
Small noises move among the grass .
.
.
Blackly, A hawk mounts, mounts in the inane Seeking the star-road, Seeking the end .
.
.
But there is no end.
Here, in this light, there is no end.
.
.


Written by A R Ammons | |

Shit List; Or Omnium-gatherum Of Diversity Into Unity

 You'll rejoice at how many kinds of shit there are:
gosling shit (which J.
Williams said something was as green as), fish shit (the generality), trout shit, rainbow trout shit (for the nice), mullet shit, sand dab shit, casual sloth shit, elephant shit (awesome as process or payload), wildebeest shit, horse shit (a favorite), caterpillar shit (so many dark kinds, neatly pelleted as mint seed), baby rhinoceros shit, splashy jaybird shit, mockingbird shit (dive-bombed with the aim of song), robin shit that oozes white down lawnchairs or down roots under roosts, chicken shit and chicken mite shit, pelican shit, gannet shit (wholesome guano), fly shit (periodic), cockatoo shit, dog shit (past catalog or assimilation), cricket shit, elk (high plains) shit, and tiny scribbled little shrew shit, whale shit (what a sight, deep assumption), mandril shit (blazing blast off), weasel shit (wiles' waste), gazelle shit, magpie shit (total protein), tiger shit (too acid to contemplate), moral eel and manta ray shit, eerie shark shit, earthworm shit (a soilure), crab shit, wolf shit upon the germicidal ice, snake shit, giraffe shit that accelerates, secretary bird shit, turtle shit suspension invites, remora shit slightly in advance of the shark shit, hornet shit (difficult to assess), camel shit that slaps the ghastly dry siliceous, frog shit, beetle shit, bat shit (the marmoreal), contemptible cat shit, penguin shit, hermit crab shit, prairie hen shit, cougar shit, eagle shit (high totem stuff), buffalo shit (hardly less lofty), otter shit, beaver shit (from the animal of alluvial dreams)—a vast ordure is a broken down cloaca—macaw shit, alligator shit (that floats the Nile along), louse shit, macaque, koala, and coati shit, antelope shit, chuck-will's-widow shit, alpaca shit (very high stuff), gooney bird shit, chigger shit, bull shit (the classic), caribou shit, rasbora, python, and razorbill shit, scorpion shit, man shit, laswing fly larva shit, chipmunk shit, other-worldly wallaby shit, gopher shit (or broke), platypus shit, aardvark shit, spider shit, kangaroo and peccary shit, guanaco shit, dolphin shit, aphid shit, baboon shit (that leopards induce), albatross shit, red-headed woodpecker (nine inches long) shit, tern shit, hedgehog shit, panda shit, seahorse shit, and the shit of the wasteful gallinule.


Written by Alec Derwent (A D) Hope | |

Phallus

 This was the gods' god, 
The leashed divinity, 
Divine divining rod 
And Me within the me.
By mindlight tower and tree Its shadow on the ground Throw, and in darkness she Whose weapon is her wound Fends off the knife, the sword, The Tiger and the Snake; It stalks the virgin's bed And bites her wide awake.
Her Bab-el-Mandeb waits Her Red Sea gate of tears: The blood-sponge god dilates, His rigid pomp appears; Sets in the toothless mouth A tongue of prophecy.
It speaks in naked Truth Indifference for me Love, a romantic slime That lubricates his way Against the stream of Time.
And though I win the day His garrisons deep down Ignore my victory, Abandon this doomed town, Crawl through a sewer and flee.
A certain triumph, of course, Bribes me with brief joy: Stiffly my Wooden Horse Receive into your Troy.