Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OLD MULE, by EDWIN CARLILE LITSEY



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OLD MULE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It stands within the barn lot, strangely still
Last Line: The shadow of the cross may yet be seen.
Alternate Author Name(s): Litsey, E. Carl Edwin Carlile
Subject(s): Asses & Mules; Mules


It stands within the barn lot, strangely still,
Its graying muzzle drooped, its eyes half shut;
Dreaming of furrow and of hostile hill,
Of blistering hours, and the lash's cut.
Along each side there runs a hard, black band,
Where iron traces bit, and nature healed.
Mute witness to a master's harsh demand,
Where tight hames galled the tortured skin has peeled.

Its head grotesque in bigness, and its hair
Has dropped in patches from its lifeless skin.
Its worn-out hooves are cracked, while here and there
Bare scars show plainly where old wounds have been.
Ignoble fate for one whose breed of yore
Upheld the loving Christ of gentle mien;
For on its back, and down its withers hoar
The shadow of the cross may yet be seen.





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