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The New Oral Tradition

Poetry Collection

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"Hounds of Will"

by Willow Firesong

© 1983

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I had a dream the other night, as all the world stood still;
I saw my love a-following the Four Lean Hounds of Will.
They stretched their leashes, straining hard, their breath a foetid stench;
On seeing my love following, my heart it gave a wrench.
"Come join me!" my love, he cried. My heart stood still in fear.
"I dare not," I replied to him, "not with those hound so near."
"They won't attack, will you, my pets?" he said to the slavering beasts,
Who curled blood red lips back, from o'er their jagged teeth.
The foremost Hound, it came and lay, crouched glaring at his feet;
It looked as though 'twould spring at me, and savor the fresh meat.
My love was standing, Hounds around, beneath the curdled clouds;
'Twas at the blood-red moon one Hound bayed eerily aloud.
This empty moor, beneath such sky, was not the place for me;
I said as much, and added I liked not the company.
"My love!" he cried, "You're safe with me!" ­ then one of the Hounds broke free,
Laid low my love, and then it turned its blazing eyes to me.
I then awoke, and mourned my love, as I do mourn him still;
Laid low on that God-forgotten plain, by the Four Lean Hounds of Will.

I had a dream, the other night, as all the world stood still;
I saw my love laid low for e'er, by the Four Lean Hounds of Will.

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Last updated on January 21, 1999