The wolf with its belly stitched full of big pebbles;
Nibelung wolves barbed like black pineforest
Against a red sky, over blue snow; or that long grin
Above the tucked coverlet—none suffice.
A photograph: the hairless, knuckled feet
Of the last wolf killed in Britain spoiled him for wolves:
The worst since has been so much mere Alsatian.
Now it is the dream cries “Wolf!” where these feet
Print the moonlit doorstep, or run and run
Through the hush of parkland, bodiless, headless;
With small seeming of inconvenience
By day, too, pursue, siege all thought;
Bring him to an abrupt poring stop
Over engravings of gibbet-hung wolves
As at a cage where the scraggy Spanish wolf
Danced, smiling, brown eyes doggily begging
A ball to be thrown. These feet, deprived,
Disdaining all that are caged, or storied, or pictured,
Through and throughout the true world search
For their vanished head, for the world
Vanished with the head, the teeth, the quick eyes—.
Now, lest they choose his head,
Under severe moons he sits making
Wolf-masks, mouths clamped well onto the world.