by Lauren Cooper
(1964 - 1999)

Moving with an easy lope
Down the green, velvet-grassed slope
Towards wild-bubbling springs, with hope
He comes: the timber wolf.

Muzzle stretched towards the spring -
Finest water for the king,
He's chief - the best of everything
For the regal timber wolf.

Nose straight-pointing to the moon;
Howling, howling, he must drown
Earth's songs with music all his own,
The mourning timber wolf.

In packs, or quiet solitude,
Always out to fight for food.
None will ever spill his blood,
The hardy timber wolf.

Teeth a-searching for the vein
His victim's fevered blood to drain;
Ruthless - no mercy for his slain -
The callous timber wolf.

Belly hollow; it flops and feels
Like a sack.  He slinks and steals.
Many a sheep and young foal squeals  ...
The thieving timber wolf.

Nose upturned towards the moon,
Wailing, sobbing, he must drown
Earth's heart-wrung cries with weird,  wild sound;
The guilt-struck timber wolf.

Roaming, in quiet solitude,
Raping the ice-locked forests of food,
No foe, no fiend could spill his blood ...
The deathless timber wolf.

In a clearing before the band -
No hope now on mortal land -
He howls his last, gives way his stand,
The dying timber wolf.

Scarred flanks have lost their flesh.  His bone
Bleaches by sun, glitters by moon;
No howl, no music all his own:
The conquered timber wolf.

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