(16 July 1915 - 29 July 1979 / Ellerslie)

At The Sheep-Dog Trials

What ancestors unite
Here in this red and white
Kelpie to define
His symmetry of line,

As crouched in burning dust
He halts both Time and beast?
The wethers stamp the ground,
At his will turn around.

He is of collie stock:
Austerity of rock
Has lent his mind and bone
The toughness of its stone.

And though for Border flocks
The collie and the fox
Fought tooth to tooth, they joined
And have the kelpie coined

Whose ears acutely set
Across the centuries yet
Hear the concordant sound
Of coupled horn and hound;

And as the moon the tides
The hidden vixen guides
With craft the blood that strains
And surges in his veins.

Those who stand and stare
At cripples in the fair
Have not the eyes to see
His blood's dignity

Where old adversaries meet,
As now on velvet feet
He moves to his master's call,
In action classical.

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