I From blackhearted water colder Than Cain’s blood, and aching with ice, from a gunmetal bay No one would dream of drowning in, rises The walrus: head hunched from the oxen shoulder, The serious face made for surprises Looks with a thick dismay At the camera lens which takes Him in, and takes him back to cities, to volleys of laughter In film palaces, just as another, brought By Jonas Poole to England for the sakes Of James First and his court, was thought Most strange, and died soon after. So strangeness gently steels Us, and curiosity kills, keeping us cool to go Sail with the hunters unseen to the walrus rock And stand behind their slaughter: which of us feels The harpoon’s hurt, and the huge shock When the blood jumps to flow? Oh, it is hunters alone Regret the beastly pain, it is they who love the foe That quarries out their force, and every arrow Is feathered soft with wishes to atone; Even the surest sword in sorrow Bleeds for its spoiling blow. Sometimes, as one can see Carved at Amboise in a high relief, on the lintel stone Of the castle chapel, hunters have strangely come To a mild close of the chase, bending the knee Instead of the bow, struck sweetly dumb To see from the brow bone Of the hounded stag a cross Grown, and the eyes clear with grace. Perfectly still Are the cruising dogs as well, their paws aground In a white hush of lichen. Beds of moss Spread, and the clearing wreathes around The dear suspense of will. But looking higher now To the chapel steeple, see among points and spines of the updrawn, Vanishing godbound stone, ringing its sped Thrust as a target tatters, a round row Of real antlers taken from dead Deer. The hunt goes on. IL They built well who made Those palaces of hunting lords, the grounds planned As ruled reaches, always with a view Down tapered aisles of trees at last to fade In the world’s mass. The lords so knew Of land beyond their land. If, at Versailles, outdrawn By the stairs or the still canals, by the gradual shrink of an urn Or the thousand fountains, a king gave back his gaze To the ample balance windows vantaged on The clearness near, and the far haze, He learned he must return. Seen from a palace stair The wilderness was distance; difference; it spoke In the strong king’s mind for mercy, while to the weak, To the weary of choice, it told of havens where The Sabbath stayed, and all were meek, And justice know a joke. Some cast their crowns away And went to live in the distance. There was nothing seemed Remotely strange to them, their innocence Shone in the special features of the prey They would not harm. The dread expense Of golden times they dreamed Was that their kingdoms fell The deeper into tyranny, the more they stole Through Ardens out to Eden isles apart, Seeking a shore, a shelter of some spell Where harmlessly the hidden heart Might hold creation whole. When to his solitude The world became as island mists, then Prospero, Pardoning all, and pardoned, yet aware The full forgiveness cannot come, renewed His reign, bidding the boat prepare From mysteries to go Toward masteries less sheer, And Duke again, did rights and mercies, risking wrong, Found advocates and enemies, and found His bounded empire good, where he could hear Below his walls the baying hound And the loud hunting-song.