Ohrmann Museum & Gallery
U of M


The Horses 

Barely a twelve month after 
The seven days war that put the world to sleep, 
Late in the evening the strange horses came. 
By then we had made our covenant with silence, 
But in the first few days it was so still 
We listened to our breathing and were afraid. 
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows, 
Long laid aside.  We have gone back 
Far past our fathers land. 
And then that evening, 
Late in the summer the strange horses came. 
We heard a distant tapping on the road, 
A deepening drumming, it stopped, went on again. 
We saw the heads 
Like a wide wave charging and were afraid. 
We had sold our horses in our fathers time 
To buy new tractors.  Now they were strange to us. 
We did not dare go near them.  Yet they waited 
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent 
By an old command to find our whereabouts 
And that long-lost archaic companionship. 
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning. 
    Edwin Muir, Scottish