Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

Galloping Horses (After The Flower Show) - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Come for the prizes
All are allotted,
Leaving the ranks of
Cut flowers and potted,
Leaving the marrows,
Monstrous, incredible,
Turnips and carrots,
Vast but inedible,
Leaving the honey
(Bottle and section),
Leaving the conquering
Queen-wasp collection,
Leaving the fruit-cakes
(Underdone, mostly)
lone in the show-tent
vacant and ghostly.
Come - on the common
Where golden the gorse is
Wait the Original
Galloping Horses!

Listen - the organ’s
Just about starting!
Who could resist
That imperative blarting?
Hark to the voice of it,
Clamant, compelling,
Blaring down even
The ballyhoos’ yelling.
Hamelin’s pipers
Advertised playing
Never could charm like that
Resonant braying.
Which horse will you have,
The chestnut - the bay one?
Pick where you like, but
Mine is the grey one.

What though his mane
And tail have been slightly
Tinned by equestrians
Clutching them tightly?
Still must his crinion
Command admiration
(That I believe, is
the right designation).
Look at his nostril,
Redly distended,
Mark too his action,
Spirited, splendid.

Shriek goes the organ,
Lustily blowing;
Get to your saddles;
Now we are going!
Up and then down
Like the waves on the ocean -
Where cou’d be found more
Inspiring motion?

Down and then up
Like a gale in the Channel -
Cook from the Manor
Is whiter than flannel!
Up again, down again,
Quicker and quicker -
“Stick to ‘im, ‘arold”” -
look at the vicar!
Over the elm-trees
Climbs the moons crescent,
Thin as a shaving,
Pale opalescent;
Flits the white owl by,
Who as he passes
Mingles his hoots
With the squealing of lasses,
While in the zenith
The stars in their courses
Wink at the brothers
The Galloping Horses!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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