In silver woods beneath the Moon,
On roads below the Sun,
The wind is singing an ancient tune,
Of the hares eternal run.
For earth and stars are slow and still,
And the wind breathes through the rye,
When ‘cross the brackish ruddy rill,
The hare comes slipping by.
And racing there the ghost is seen,
And none know whence he comes,
Though many man has walked and been,
Midst sudden sounding drums.
Now the drumming beats the rocky land,
And the violet dusky sky,
As faster than the cheats of man,
The hare goes sailing by.
Green and brown the hill-lands soar,
Before his trackless roads,
And emerald glows a bearded tor,
Whereon the west wind blows.
The coming hare is running still,
Between the thorn and fern,
Among the purple heather’s frill,
He makes his cunning turn.
Now drums are pounding closer in,
Beside the sleeping stream,
And all the woods await the din,
Of the ghostly running dream.
White and wildly runs the hare,
Across the watchful road,
A vision or an answered prayer,
Or a seed that gods have sowed.
But suddenly he comes at last,
To the place where he has been,
And the chasing fear has gladly passed,
Like the drying dew-drop sheen.
So into the blue and shadowy night,
The hare retires at length,
That burnished hallowed breathing wight,
Has given all his strength.
But come the new night’s fall again,
The hare will issue forth,
And time and toil beyond our ken,
Will fiercely pace the north.
For woods beneath the golden sun,
Or roads below the moon,
Will never see the last hare’s run,
Till man has passed his noon.