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The Elephant Is Slow To Mate

by
 The elephant, the huge old beast,
 is slow to mate;
he finds a female, they show no haste
 they wait

for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts
 slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the river-beds
 and drink and browse

and dash in panic through the brake
 of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake
 together, without a word.
So slowly the great hot elephant hearts grow full of desire, and the great beasts mate in secret at last, hiding their fire.
Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts so they know at last how to wait for the loneliest of feasts for the full repast.
They do not snatch, they do not tear; their massive blood moves as the moon-tides, near, more near till they touch in flood.

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