William Henry Ogilvie

The Call

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Gold and green the elm leaves lean and interlace,
All the coloured woodlands are calling to the Chase.
Dew is on the stubble field, ruddy grows the thorn,
All the withered meadowland is listening for the horn.
Lures of lawn and hammock, rod and bat and ball,
Fade before the coming of a stronger lure than all,
Faint before the whisper of the padding feet that pass,
Fail before the witchery of hoof-beats on the grass.
England in her summer sleep turns about and stirs,
Hears the click of bridle rings, hears the clink of spurs,
Sees the gleam of spotted flanks moving in the gorse,
Sees the flashing scarlet of a Whip upon his horse.
Rippling water charms no more, nor the lazy noon,
Spent among the lime trees where a wild bee makes the tune;
Something fiercer tugs the heart, fans the Wood to fire,
Sets the pulses galloping, and wakes the old desire.
Girths are buckled, reins are drawn, stirrups caught again;
Women turn to sterner play, men go forth like men.
Where the storm-clouds gather, where the strong winds stride,
Autumn calls to England and bids her bravest ride.

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William Henry Ogilvie