William Butler Yeats

Hound Voice

Because we love bare hills and stunted trees And were the last to choose the settled ground, Its boredom of the desk or of the spade, because So many years companioned by a hound, Our voices carry; and though slumber-bound, Some few half wake and half renew their choice, Give tongue, proclaim their hidden name -- 'hound voice.' The women that I picked spoke sweet and low And yet gave tongue. 'Hound voices' were they all. We picked each other from afar and knew What hour of terror comes to test the soul, And in that terror's name obeyed the call, And understood, what none have understood, Those images that waken in the blood. Some day we shall get up before the dawn And find our ancient hounds before the door, And wide awake know that the hunt is on; Stumbling upon the blood-dark track once more, Then stumbling to the kill beside the shore; Then cleaning out and bandaging of wounds, And chants of victory amid the encircling hounds.