The sinking sun set all the Rock aglow—
The heady fragrance of seaweed that had
Been blowing from the water down below
Began to drive my little stallion mad.
His bit was foamy, and his eyes rolled white—
And suddenly he struggled to break free
(Although I checked the reins with all my might)
To launch himself into vacuity.
Was it the hour? Aromas growing stronger?
The salt-tang of the deep, its briny sting?
Was it the far-off breathing of the trees?
O had the wind held out a little longer
I know the steed I gripped with reins and knees
Would have been Pegasus and taken wing!
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 27 Number 10, on page 30
Copyright © 2023 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com