The noon, a mystic dog with paws of fire,
Runs through the sky in ecstasy of drouth,
Licking the earth with tongue of golden flame
Set in a burning mouth.

It floods the forest with loud barks of light,
And chases its own shadow on the plains . . .
Its Master silently hath set it free
Awhile from silver chains.

At last, towards the cinctured end of day,
It drinks cool draughts from sunset-mellowed rills . . .
Then, chained to twilight by the Master’s hand,
It sleeps among the hills.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 14, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.