Bernard O'Dowd

(11 April 1866 – 1 September 1953 / Beaufort)

The Cow Poem by Bernard O'Dowd


THIS is a rune I ravelled in the still,
Arrogant stare of an Australian cow—
‘These prankt intruders of the hornless brow,
Puffed up with strange illusions of their skill
To fence, to milk, to fatten and to kill,
Once worshipped me with temple, rite and vow,
Crowned me with stars, and bade rapt millions bow
Before what abject guess they called my will!

‘To-day, this flunkey of my midden, Man,
Throws child-oblations in my milking byre,
Stifles in slums to spare me lordly fields,
Flatters with spotless consorts my desire,
And for a pail of cream his birth-right yields,
As once in Egypt, Hellas, Ind, Iran!’


Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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