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Inspired by Cranford Park Stables

And lo, the horsemen have bolted!

Bar the gates now, mind

For the Berkeley Hunt has all but started

Hooves and coin wrenched up brick beneath

Trampled turquoise tiling

Scorched sirens crying at

The sound of the vanguard's gun

Stirrups, damp pails, hay bales scatter

Yet our lordship’s steed fell lame

Scarlet ichor paints the lanes

Tristram's men have fled their game

Oh! What an awful shame!

The game has fled par force, hounds sent clear

To mirrored homesteads

A silver-laden constellation bound for feather beds Cracked whips scythe the country lanes

Barenaked stalls furnished by flames

Tight woven horses take the bell

A last escape from a burning cell

And lo, the lady has bolted!

Bar the gates now, mind

For Cranford’s countess left her deeds behind

Firstborn to wayside, spare to highest tower

Butcher’s lass a weeping flower, left for dower

Alone she’d flee her judgement hour

While wives’ tales fanned her lips

Spinster Mary’s joined the race

The pillory’s giving chase

Her viscount’s at the gates, woe!

What a terrible blow!

The Father, scourge of highwaymen, laid low

While Billy the Kid’s stripped baron bare

Common crowd now hail the spare

The green-eyed monster pierced new heir

Dowager’s dress wreathed in sordid Asphodel

Still the hangman seethes, the lady’s luck prevails

And lo, the household has bolted!

Bar the gates no more

For men and mare took arms and chose

To cart the rest to war

The Berkeley Hunt swept silent rust

Revels’ dust razed clean, stableyard a stricken scene

The dregs labyrinthine, sprouted weeds to choke

Their hollow claret caskets, drunk on slurried wine

For they graced the party for a time

Till hunt sought fresh tracks, singed at both ends

A forlorn bell’s tolled its last

Left to mourn from the arms of friends

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