Crouched in the cotton-batting grass Cozy as roses in a love-pinched cheek And babbling baptism of a summer's day, I say my ways my world my forgotten selves When young as a pup and pipping proud I played with tufted grasses and the days went round. I found myself and my pointing hound Ready for pheasant in the long splay meadow. Alert at a minute's click we stalked And ran down the rising side of the great sloped hill. We traced our racing in the tall ribbon grass Following with our falling the pheasant's fear, Its loping trot, half wing half claw, the bird Flew to shadow where the pebble stream whirred, Flushed in a flash onto bent bush and wood. The hound stood troubled in the chittering stream; The twice-sniffed tracks slipped in the water's sheen Left taut nose taut gun hung uselessly. No mortal union of man and beast, my hound and me All eyes all ears for the willing chase, all those marble days Of my flyaway youth when killing knew no death. No minutehand arrow in those flung days Followed far beneath the blue-clad eastern clouds, The spattering charms of the swift-passed rains. No hour collected us before long nights called cool, All happiness said in the old hound's cry That sang us sermons and psalms to our summer bed.