William Henry Ogilvie

Riderless

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A broken bridle trailing,
A saddle scratched and scarred –
And Brown Bee at the railing
That rings the station yard;
No stockman sits astride her,
But, by those flanks a-foam,
Wild Terror was the rider
That lashed the good mare home!

She snorts across the moonlight
Through nostrils red and wide
The challenge of the unbacked colt
To those who dare not ride;
She snorts across the moonlight
Through nostrils wide and red
The terror of a dumb beast
That has looked upon the dead. . .

His saddle and his bridle
We’ve softly laid aside,
We’ll leave the rough gear idle
Till he comes back to ride –
But when the daylight gathers
And when the dawning pales,
The brown mare stands and whinnies
With her lean head on the rails.

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William Henry Ogilvie