By Lew Sarrett --------------------------- Shuffle along, O paint cayuse! Prick up your flyblown ears: we've swung The pasture-gate to turn you loose, To let your carcass, sprained and sprung, Your rattling bag of bones now pass To the paradise of grass. Never again a pain to come From panniers pounding on your side Like cudgels clattering on a drum; From saddles that gall your tender hide; From the rake and sweep of grinding rowels And spurs that stab your bowels. Time for a bronco's holiday! Time now to watch the clouds roll by, To nibble the knee-deep salty hay, To roll and sprawl your heels on the sky. O Paint-o! bed yourself in clover, The pull of the years is over. Nothing to do now, but placidly stand And wait till your sagging head shall sink; And the ghost of you, with a flaming brand, Will gallop over the world's brink To heaven, with a dim white rider astraddle Your ribs on a ghostly saddle. Heaven for horses! — a billowy plain With blocks of salt in mountain-rows, Timothy tall as pines, and grain Foaming in oceans up to your nose; Where a horse forever may plant his feet In rivers of oats and eat. Heaven! — no starry refuge there For the mice that worry you into flight, Or the drolling clownish grizzly bear Whose antics stop your heart with fright; Nor any menacing bug or bee To drive you to deviltry. What troubles you? Whoa! Why snort at this? Nothing in heaven to make you vexed! To give you a slight excuse for the bliss Of bucking and squealing! to serve as pretext For bolting and running your crazy courses! . . Paint! Is there a hell for horses?