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The Wolf-tamer

by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, 1895

Through the gorge of snow we go,
Tracking, tramping soft and slow,
With our paws and sheathèd claws,
So we swing along the snow,
Crowding, crouching to your pipes—
Shining serpents! Well you know,
When your lips shall cease to blow
Airs that lure us through the snow,
We shall fall upon your race
Who do wear a different face.
Who were spared in yonder vale?
Not a man to tell the tale!
Blow, blow, serpent pipes,
Slow we follow:—all our troop—
Every wolf of wooded France,
Down from all the Pyrenees—
Shall they follow, follow you,
In your dreadful music-trance?
Mark it by our tramping paws,
Hidden fangs, and sheathèd claws?
You have seen the robber bands
Tear men's tongues and cut their hands,
For ransom—we ask none—begone,
For the tramping of our paws,
Marking all your music's laws,
Numbs the lust of ear and eye;
Or—let us go beneath the snow,
And silent die—as wolves should die!

Published in Poems

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