Elephant Love, by R. Graves

The elephant, the huge old beast, is slow to mate;
he finds a female, the show no haste, they wait
for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the riverbeds and drink and browse
and dash in panic through the brake of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake together without a word.

So slowly the great hot elephant hearts grow full of desire,
and the great beasts mate in secret at last, hiding their fire.
Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts so they know at last
how to wait for the loneliest of feasts, for the full repast.
They do not snatch, they do not tear; their massive blood
moves as the moon tides, near more near till they touch in flood.

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