The Night Hunt
In the morning, in the dark, When the stars begin to blunt, By the wall of Barna Park Dogs I heard and saw them hunt All the parish dogs were there, All the dogs for miles around, Teeming up behind a hare, In the dark, without a sound. How I heard I scarce can tell-- 'Twas a patter in the grass-- And I did not see them well Come across the dark and pass; Yet I saw them and I knew Spearman's dog and Spellman's dog And, beside my own dog too, Leamy's from the Island Bog. In the morning when the sun Burnished all the green to gorse, I went out to take a run Round the bog upon my horse; And my dog that had been sleeping In the heat beside the door Left his yawning and went leaping On a hundred yards before. Through the village street we passed-- Not a dog there raised a snout-- Through the street and out at last On the white bog road and out Over Barna Park full pace, Over to the Silver Stream, Horse and dog in happy race, Rider between thought and dream. By the stream, at Leamy's house, Lay a dog -- my pace I curbed -- But our coming did not rouse Him from drowsing undisturbed; And my dog, as unaware Of the other, dropped beside And went running by me there With my horse's slackened stride. Yet by something, by a twitch Of the sleeper's eye, a look From the runner, something which Little chords of feeling shook, I was conscious that a thought Shuddered through the silent deep Of a secret -- I had caught Something I had known in sleep.
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