The rhinoceros bounds down the path,
The lush foliage encasing him in rustling bath,
His heavy footfalls pounding, pounding, and resounding.
His triumphant horn, like an elephant's tusk,
Bludgeons and bears throughout the dusk,
As ethereal wings plummet and dance in twilight above.
Yet his savage demeanor of frenetic speed, booming out disorder,
Is based not on speed alone but fear, as he hammers out a border,
Threshing through the greenery in fast, ferocious strides.
The moonlight in pale, tremulous transcendence,
Casts glittering hints of light into the dark's opaque attendance,
Illuminating the why of this fearful run.
Hidden in the drawing, climbing folds of deep and distant darkness,
The gaunt, metallic prods of rifles glint with all their starkness,
Waiting with a deep deliberation for a shot.
Horn in front, plodding through the crashing waves of deepening green,
The rhino pounds and pounds, his echoes in the ground resounding all unseen,
Until the hasty patter of rifle's and their clatter clip the pounding air.
The second salvo sounds with operatic timing, chiming in the darkened path.
Faltering with girth and the guttering, gushing blood from the hunter's wrath,
—Thud, the rhino falls, his leathery skin rippling with its many holes.
Silence still as sleep seems to slowly creep upon the wood,
As the red and running blood forms as halo and a hood
About the still, triumphant brow of the hunter's quarry.
Skulking from the shadows with heroic hymns and cheers,
To the hunters stepping in the thick and lifeless blood it soon appears:
"The deed is done, the day is won, let us take our prize and drink!"
Ripping out a glinting knife, silver in the sulking moon and rustling trees
He cuts, and clips, and rips the horn from our rhino's nose,
And walks away triumphant, holding high the horn against the breeze—
For so it went, so it has, and so it ever goes.