The Dulcet Hour

I remember well the dry hot days, And better still the dulcet evenings after, The cooling time, the hours men turned to laughter And beasts relaxed somewhat their feral ways. The wild hawk rested high on a broken limb, Leaving his quest for field mouse, gopher, sparrow; Then in the fields spread broad, the creek dried narrow, His prey was free, a while, from the fear of him. Somewhere the coyote, hidden, out of sight, Added his yelp to the evening sounds of men, The whinny of horses, the clack of the guinea hen, That signaled the passing of day, the coming of night. The birds that sheltered, daytimes, in the hedge Flitted from bush to bush as a boy went by; The half-grown rabbits, ears held straight and high, Sat on their haunches, close by the thicket's edge. A boy's feet tingled in the silken dust Strewn in the lane, refined for those bare feet. What, to that lane, would be a golden street? What to that h our, the jubilees of the just?

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