Lupercal by Ted Hughes

By Ted Hughes

The authors moment assortment which prints a few of his so much respected paintings together with Pike, Hawk Roosting and November.

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Sample text

None below in the dumbstruck crowd Thinks it else but miracle That a man go somersaulting (As might hardly be dared in the head) Bodily out on space, Gibboning, bird-vaulting Out of all sedentary belief, With unearthly access of grace, Of ease: freer firmer world found A hundred feet above ground. The crowd, holding to their seats hard Under the acrobats' hurtle and arc, In their hearts miming that daring, Are no longer assured Of their body's nonchalant pride Or of earth's firmness, bearing Plunge of that high risk without That flight; with only a dread Crouching to get away from these On its hands and knees.

Whereupon. quietly, unopposed, The motion was passed. 43 AN OTTER I Underwater eyes, an eel's Oil of water body, neither fish nor beast is the otter: Four-legged yet water-gifted, to outfish fish; With webbed feet and long ruddering tail And a round head like an old tomcat. Brings the legend of himself From before wars or burials, in spite of hounds and vermin-poles; Does not take root like the badger. Wanders, cries; Gallops along land he no longer belongs to; Re-enters the water by melting. Of neither water nor land.

I kept the door wide, Closed it after him and pushed the bolt. 36 CAT AND MOUSE On the sheep-cropped summit, under hot sun, The mouse crouched, staring out the chance It dared not take. Time and a world Too old to alter, the five mile prospect— Woods, villages, farms—hummed its heat-heavy Stupor of life. Whether to two Feet or four, how are prayers contracted! Whether in God's eye or the eye of a cat. 37 VIEW OF A PIG The pig lay on a barrow dead. It weighed, they said, as much as three men. Its eyes closed, pink white eyelashes.

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