with Horse and Hound

Cubbing

cubbing.aldinIllustration by Cecil Alden

by Duncan Fife

I wouldn’t change places with any man,
Were he powerful, rich, or wise,
As I stand in the early morning chill
While we wait for the mist to rise.
There are silver threads on the bracken fronds,
And a peaty tang in the air
That goes to the head like a draught of wine,
As we stand by the cover there.

If the creak of leather and clink of bit
Makes me yearn—well I’m not ashamed,
For I’ve got no horse of my own to ride,
And I don’t suppose I’ll be blamed
If I look around with an envious heart
At the satiny coats nearby,
At the twitching ears and the nostrils wide,
And the eagerly watching eye

That seeks to pierce through the curtaining mist
Where it clings to the dripping trees,
Concealing the cubs as they wait, alert,
For a chance to run. Then a breeze
So faint, so soft, that the glittering drops
Which hang on the bramble and thorn,
Are scarcely disturbed, but the low-lying haze
Dissolves at the coming of dawn.

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