The Tamer of Steeds

Beyond this world where skies are free from stain,
Where brilliant flowers blow in open meads,
I heard the drumming hooves of many steeds
Raise maddening music from a grassy plain.
They passed, with snorting nostril, flying mane,
And fiery spirit; and the lad who breeds
Their mettled herd, and pastures them, and feeds,
Rode the black foremost, scorning spur or rein.

His eyes were like a seer’s and like a child’s.
His body shone irradiating joy.
He fought his furious mount with strength and art.
And then my mind divined the glorious boy
As Eros, tamer in the heavenly wilds
Of all the passions of the human heart.

From Merchants from Cathay (Yale University Press, 1919) by William Rose Bénet. Copyright © 1919 by William Rose Bénet. This poem is in the public domain.