Ode: A Love Song From the Amorous Shepherd to His Flock

THEY graze in beauty on the land
of grassy glades and dewy dales,
and all that’s best of tamed and tanned
meets in their aspect and their tails;
thus mellowed to that tender hand
which Shepherd to gentle glen compels.

One fleece the more, one spot the less,
had half-repaired the shearless grace
which wreathes in every woolen tress
or darkly tightens o’er their face,
where mouths serenely sweet express
how pure, how dear their grazing-place.

And on that rump and o’er that round
so fat, so plump, yet elegant,
the baas that win, the hooves that bound,
but tell of days in meadows spent—
a flock at peace with all around,
a drove whose milk is innocent.

–Ngoc Nguyen


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