A Morning Ride



In the hush of the cool, dim dawn when the shades begin to retreat,
And the jackal bolts to his lair at the sound of your horse's feet;
When the great kite preens his wings and calls to his mate on the tree
And the lilac opens her buds ere the sun shall be up to see;
When the trailing rosebush thrills with the sparrows' pent up strife,
Oh! a ride in an Indian dawn, there's no such pleasure in life.

There's a bend on the (Ravee) river by the ruined temple gate
There's a halt in the flowering millet; some twenty minutes to wait
There's a glimpse of a dark blue habit—a ripple of laughter sweet
And ...only the mynas are witness how the Sahib and the Miss Sahib meet—
There's a whispered sentence of greeting as we canter over the grass—
Where the river runs to the sea like a river of molten glass
Ah! well it is to be living when hands and heart are good
To fetter a pulling horse or to love as a youngster should
When pay and the ponies prosper, and the bunniah cheaps his gram,
And the munshi swears by the prophet, that the Sahib will pass his exam.
What matter if life has its sorrows while the Present sufficeth for me,
And I live a life in an hour by the bend of the blue Ravee!