Animal Rights Poetry and Prose from

Have horses then no God? By Katherine Lee Bates

What was our share in the sinning,
That we must share the doom?
Sweet was our life’s beginning
In the spicy meadow-bloom,|

With children’s hands to pet us
And kindly tones to call.
To-day the red spurs fret us
Against the bayonet wall.

What had we done, our masters,
That you sold us into hell?
Our terrors and disasters
Have filled your pockets well.

You feast on our starvation;
Your laughter is our groan.
Have horses then no nation,
No country of their own?

What are we, we your horses,
So loyal where we serve,
Fashioned of noble forces
All sensitive with nerve?

Torn, agonized, we wallow
On the blood-bemired sod;
And still the shiploads follow.
Have horses then no God?

© Katherine Lee Bates, 2024

galloping Horse
Image from Bob Langrish, Esquestrian Photographer

Poem originally published on Tuesday's Horse, June 27, 2024

Return to: Animal Rights Poetry and Prose