Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OLD PONE, by WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER



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OLD PONE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My grandfather once had a horse that was known
Last Line: To trot pretty fast up the lane to the stable!
Subject(s): Animals; Horseback Riding; Horses


MY grandfather once had a horse that was known
By no other name than the name of "Old Pone."
His coat was quite rough and his sides were quite bony,
And to tell you the truth, he was an old pony.

Old Pone loved to stand in the stable all day,
Very quietly munching his oats and hay,
Or out in the field to roll over and over,
And kick up his heels in the grass and the clover.

And then if you wanted Old Pone for a ride,
You had to creep, slyly, close up to his side,
Then out with the halter and clap his head in it,
Or off he would scamper in less than a minute.

But when you had caught him, how still he would stand,
And rub up against you and eat from your hand,
As grave as a judge, just as sober and steady,
Till the harness was on and the chaise was all ready.

Then when all were seated and eager to go,
Old Pone would move off with a gait very slow;
As much as to say, "There is no use of talking,
You think you're out driving, but I am out walking."

By coaxing and scolding, Old Pone could be got
To quicken his pace to a kind of jog trot,
But coaxing or scolding, by man or by master,
Were utterly useless to make him go faster.

Old Pone knew the roads, North, South, East and West,
And whenever he reached the road he liked best,
Because the most level and shady and quiet,
Down that he would turn and compel you to try it.

At the foot of each hill, he made a dead stop,
Then took a snail's pace and crawled to the top,
Once there, what a puffing and panting and blowing,
Like a live locomotive—all but the going!

At every friend's house to the gate he would go,
And there he would stand, though you never said "Whoa,"
Rub his nose on the post as if he would kiss it,
And wait till you got out and made a long visit.

No matter how light or how heavy his load,
He went just as slow every inch of the road,
But when he reached home, Old Pone was quite able
To trot pretty fast up the lane to the stable!





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