All is the same as when first I beheld it,
Nothing is changed since those glad summer days.
The cool air still flows off Chevin,
Over the vale, to the meadow’s gate.
The deep green leaves of the spreading trees,
Dry last night’s shower in the sunlit breeze.
I sit outside the grey house of stone;
Only I am changed as I sit alone.
All I see of the moors and trees,
And the vale between, in the sun and breeze,
Is the meadow-gate and your figure there,
And the little black pony that came to your call,
And you fondle his nose and smooth his hair,
As you did before in that summer fair.
You are gone away but seem so near,
Nearer than all the trees and moors,
But you are away on the mountain’s height,
While I am here in the vale.
And the little black pony is gone away.
‘The Black Pony’ was written in memory of husband, Will, when May and Jean had visited Emmie’s family in Yeadon for the first time without Will after his death. It was in Yeadon where Will had met the black pony at the meadow gate near Emmie’s home. May had been somewhat apprehensive about the visit (see 7 August 1944). Her writings concerning it, both before and afterwards, showed that her thoughts were dominated by memories of happier times with Will. Ron, of course, was also constantly on her mind at this time.
The poem has been added to the poems collection on this site. It also appears in the book The Casualties Were Small which contains over twenty of May’s poems as well as selected diary extracts, including those which suggest the background to each poem, accompanied by many nostalgic photographs.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?