The Last Leap

Original Text: 
Poems, ed. Robert A. Thompson (London and Melbourne: A. H. Massina, 1920). Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit: http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit
1All is over! fleet career,
2    Dash of greyhound slipping thongs,
3Flight of falcon, bound of deer,
4Mad hoof-thunder in our rear,
5    Cold air rushing up our lungs,
6    Din of many tongues.
7Once again, one struggle good,
8    One vain effort; -- he must dwell
9Near the shifted post, that stood
10Where the splinters of the wood,
11    Lying in the torn tracks, tell
12    How he struck and fell.
13Crest where cold drops beaded cling,
14    Small ear drooping, nostril full,
15Glazing to a scarlet ring,
16Flanks and haunches quivering,
17    Sinews stiff'ning, void and null,
18    Dumb eyes sorrowful.
19Satin coat that seems to shine
21That a softer hand than mine
23    That in meadows far from this
24    Softer lips might kiss.
25All is over! this is death,
26    And I stand to watch thee die,
27Brave old horse! with 'bated breath
28Hardly drawn through tight-clenched teeth,
29    Lip indented deep, but eye
30    Only dull and dry.
31Musing on the husk and chaff
33Thus I speak, and force a laugh
34That is half a sneer and half
35    An involuntary groan,
36    In a stifled tone --
37'Rest, old friend! thy day, though rife
38    With its toil, hath ended soon;
39We have had our share of strife,
40Tumblers in the mask of life,
41    In the pantomime of noon
43'With the flash that ends thy pain
44    Respite and oblivion blest
45Come to greet thee. I in vain
46Fall: I rise to fall again:
47    Thou hast fallen to thy rest --
48    And thy fall is best!'

Notes

20] tress: long lock of hair. Back to Line
22] wont: accustomed. Back to Line
32] tares: injurious weeds. Back to Line
42] pantaloon: men's close-fitting breeches fastened below the calf or at the foot; a Venetian character in Italian comedy represented as a foolish old man wearing pantaloons. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1867
Publication Notes: 
Sea Spray and Smoke Drift (1867)
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: 
2012
Rhyme: 
Form: