By D. H. Lawrence

GOATS go past the back of the house like dry leaves in the
And up the hill like a river, if you watch.
At dusk they patter back like a bough being dragged on the
Raising dusk and acridity of goats, and bleating.
Our old goat we tie up at night in the shed at the back of
the broken Greek tomb in the garden,
And when the herd goes by at dawn she begins to bleat for
me to come down and untie her.
_Merr–err–err! Merr-er–errr! Mer! Mé!
Wait, wait a bit, I’ll come when I’ve lit the fire.
Mé! Mer! Merrrrrrr!!!
Tace, tu, crapa, bestia!
Merr–ererrr–ererrrr! Merrrr!
She is such an alert listener, with her ears wide, to know
am I coming!
Such a canny listener, from a distance, looking upwards,
lending first one ear, then another.
There she is, perched on her manger, looking over the
boards into the day
Like a belle at her window.
And immediately she sees me she blinks, stares, doesn’t
know me, turns her head and ignores me vulgarly with
a wooden blank on her face.
What do I care for her, the ugly female, standing up there
with her long tangled sides like an old rug thrown
over a fence.
But she puts her nose down shrewdly enough when the knot
is untied,
And jumps staccato to earth, a sharp, dry jump, still ignor-
ing me,
Pretending to look round the stall.
_Come on, you, crapa! I’m not your servant_!
She turns her head away with an obtuse, female sort of
deafness, bête.
And then invariably she crouches her rear and makes
That being her way of answer, if I speak to her.–Self-
_Le bestie non parlano, poverine_!
She was bought at Giardini fair, on the sands, for six
hundred lire.
An obstinate old witch, almost jerking the rope from my
hands to eat the acanthus, or bite at the almond buds,
and make me wait.
Yet the moment I hate her she trips mild and smug like a
woman going to mass.
The moment I really detest her.
Queer it is, suddenly, in the garden
To catch sight of her standing like some huge, ghoulish
grey bird in the air, on the bough of the leaning
Straight as a board on the bough, looking down like
some hairy horrid God the Father in a William Blake
_Come down, crapa, out of that almond tree_!
Instead of which she strangely rears on her perch in the
air, vast beast.
And strangely paws the air, delicate,
And reaches her black-striped face up like a snake, far up,
Subtly, to the twigs overhead, far up, vast beast,
And snaps them sharp, with a little twist of her anaconda
All her great hairy-shaggy belly open against the morning.
At seasons she curls back her tail like a green leaf in the fire,
Or like a lifted hand, hailing at her wrong end.
And having exposed the pink place of her nakedness, fixedly,
She trots on blithe toes,
And if you look at her, she looks back with a cold, sardonic
Sardonic, sardonyx, rock of cold fire.
_See me_? She says, _That’s me_!
That’s her.
Then she leaps the rocks like a quick rock.
Her back-bone sharp as a rock,
Sheer will.
Along which ridge of libidinous magnetism
Defiant, curling the leaf of her tail as if she were curling
her lip behind her at all life.
Libidinous desire runs back and forth, asserting itself in that
little lifted bare hand.
Yet she has such adorable spurty kids, like spurts of black
And in a month again is as if she had never had them.
And when the billy goat mounts her
She is brittle as brimstone.
While his slitted eyes squint back to the roots of his ears.

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