The Fawn, by Edna St Vincent Millary

Recently, I came across a book in our 2nd Hand bookshop. As it was lunch time, I took the opportunity to have a read through at my leisure. I spotted this particular poem that seemed quite relevant, especially as we may soon start spotting young fawns in the parkland…

There is was I saw what I shall never forget

And never retrieve

Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard to believe

He lay, yet as he lay,

Asleep on the moss, his head on his polished cleft small
ebony hooves,

The child of a doe, the dappled child of the deer.

Surely his mother had never said, “Lie here

Till I return,” so spotty and plain to see

On the green moss he lay.

His eyes had opened; he considered me.

I would have given more than I care to say

To thrifty ears, might I have had him for my friend

One moment only of that forest day:

Might I have had the acceptance, not the love

Of those clear eyes;

Might I have been for him the bough above

Or the root beneath his forest bed,

A part of the forest, seen without surprise.

Was it alarm, or was it the wind of my fear lest he depart

That jerked him to his jointy knees,

And sent him crashing off, leaping and stumbing

On his new legs, beneath the stems of the white trees?

Edna St Vincent Millary. 1892 – 1950



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