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´╗┐Title: I Run with the Fox
Author: Gould, Mona, 1908-1999
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "I Run with the Fox" ***

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Copyright (C) 1946 by the Estate of Mona Gould.

I Run With the Fox
Mona Gould 

The Macmillan Company
Of Canada Limited

Copyright, Canada, 1946
The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited

All rights reserved - no part of this book may be reproduced in any 
form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by 
a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection 
with a review written for inclusion in a magazine or newspaper.

Printed in Canada by 
Le Soleil Limitee, Quebec.

For "Mook"

(Lt.-Col. Howard McTavish, Royal Canadian
Engineers, killed in action, Dieppe, 1942) 

In proud and loving remembrance

This was my brother
At Dieppe, 
Quietly a hero 
Who gave his life
Like a gift, 
Withholding nothing. 

His youth... his Love... 
His enjoyment of being alive...
His future, like a book
With half the pages still uncut --

This was my brother
At Dieppe --
The one who built me a doll house 
When I was seven,
Complete to the last small picture frame, 
Nothing forgotten.

He was awfully good at fixing things,
At stepping into the breach when he was needed. 

That's what he did at Dieppe;
He was needed.
And even death must have been a little shamed 
At has eagerness.

Mona Gould


Acknowledgment is made to Saturday Night, Gossip, Chatelaine, 
Canadian Poetry Magazine, Canadian Home Journal and The Montrealer, 
in whose pages many of these poems have appeared.


I Run With the Fox

Memory Sharp

Gift Shop Window



Loud Silence 

He Will Not Go Unremembered

Bagpipes Skirl in Heaven 

How'd Ya Do!

Big Day

Prayer, In a Hospital 

So Fair a Season 

Spring Comes to a Small Town 

For a Brown Dog

Right out of Pickwick 

Man is a Lonely One 

This Bitter Brew

It Was Tall in the Forest

Child ... Waiting in a Drawing Room 

Stars and the Dead

The Old Lady and the Cat 

This Green





I Run With the Fox 

Better to be proud and hunted
Than to ride with the Pink Coats.

Better than the smell of warm blood
after a quick kill,
Bitter and bright the scent of hidden fern.

Though the heart fail in the panting side
And the eye be clouded with straining
after the deep copse
Still is there thrill in flight --
Soft are oak leaves under the swift feet.

Sweet are the distant notes of the hunter's horn
And the hounds' baying,
Sweet to the trembling ears of the hidden
and hunted.

I run with the fox!

Memory Sharp 

It has come to this... my darling...
With the years gone over,
With the truth acknowledged
You are not coming back.

It is entering a room
Where the curtains are drawn,
Where dust lies heavy
On the table top.
Sudden -- your name -- scrawled in the gloom --
And the mouth gone dry,
And the heart stopped!

Gift Shop Window 

Apple Annie, ancient and weather-beaten
Her amazing garments huddled about her,
Bent almost double to peer in the window --
She stood on the one foot... and then on the other
And nodded her head like a great dark crow.
Her old lips moved in some mumbo-jumbo
But what she said was her own dark secret.

The wine-glasses winked in their pewter holders,
A bewildering array of costume jewellery
Of filigreed ivory and cornflower crystal
Was spread like the spoils of a pirate frigate
For Apple Annie's remote appraisal.
Some place, far back in the mind's recess
The hunger for Beauty stirred in sleep.

A little smile, like a secret fragment
Of dimly-remembered and lost delight
Moved, like the stir of a small frail fan
On a face that was wrinkled and dim with age.
With a hesitant gesture, desire engendered,
Her old hands fluttered against the pane
Twisted and gnarled... and pitifully empty...
Fluttered ... and moved ... and were still again!


My mother was a lady
With hair like silk
And eyes like gentians
And a skin like milk.

But my father loved laughter
And the flowing bowl --
And his eyes were dark mischief --
"Rest his soul!"

My mother often stopped me
From having fun
With the echo of her proper
"It isn't done!"

But I'd feel my father's hand
As he'd rough my hair
Saying "black... and rebellious.
We're a bold, bad pair!"'

And now I'm woman grown
With a son - ah me!
Who am I to tell him
What the "score" should be!


The rain falls down silverly
On the dark night.
Oh, but the air is soft to touch
And your face white.

This is for remembering,
For putting away in the mind's pocket
Like a shell - or a treasured stone, found
at the beach--
This touch - this kiss - this heart turning
toward heart --
This is for remembering
When you are beyond reach.

Words, at best, are like thistledown.
Let us be quiet, then.
Give me your hand!
You are my friend, and my love till the
world ends --
You understand!

Loud Silence 

This is loud silence,
This bewildering space
Untenanted by you.
It has the ugly face
Of loneliness!

Hush... foolish heart ...
You have been here before --
This is your blood
That rusts upon the door!

He Will Not Go Unremembered 
(For Sir Charles G. D. Roberts)

Into fire, and air,
And finally soft and subtle ash
This clay
In which bright Beauty burned,
Became articulate
And lived a little while.

He will not go unremembered.
Small boys,
Belly-flat on floor
Will pad with him
Down wooded ways
Where creatures of the forest
Are realer than the room
And its four quite solid walls.

Young girls
Will pore with shining eyes
Over verse that sings
Of life... and beauty.

He will not go unremembered
Who served his Muse
With faithful plying pen.

This, his bright spark of lovely immortality
Struck from the cycle of his life and work...
He will not go unremembered!

Bagpipes Skirl in Heaven 

Ah ... not irreverent this...
For I am very sure
The bagpipes skirl in Heaven!

You see ... 'twould not be Heaven ... for him ...
Without his native music --
Dear to his heart...
Called up at will,
Shrill ... and sweet
Defiant as all "get out" ...
Remembered past death!

And angels ...
Yes, even angels
Must smile to see him marching by
Brave in his kilt ...
His head thrown back
His "Plaidie" streaming in the wind.

Who could be sad for one so young and fair,
Immortal as a god, who gave his life
With never a backward glance? 

Ah.. . not irreverent this,
When bagpipes skirl in Heaven!

Howd'Ya Do!

When we were very small children
In kindergarten
We used to play a game.
It was called "Howd'ya do, my Partner".
And you bowed, each to the other,
And clasped hands,
And solemnly went round in a circle
Which ended with a triumphant, rollicking skip!

It's the strangest thing --
Looking back from so many years
I can still remember distinctly
That the only little boy I'd skip with
Had eyes exactly like yours!
I can remember stamping my foot
And being unspeakably difficult
When the teacher tried to persuade me
That another little boy would do.

That's one of the most important features
Of that particular game --
Another little boy won't do!

Big Bay 

This is fall
So I moust remember Big Bay 
And the nets drying on the dock
And the birches stripped for winter
And wine in the sun!

There were scarlet berries
Maybe they were bittersweet,
And all the ferns
Were tobacco-coloured.

Some places you long for
With a physical longing.
It is like that with Big Bay,
Now... in October!

Prayer, In a Hospital 

Dear God ... let him play games
For a little while, yet!

Let his hands curve to a hockey stick
And the thrust of a canoe paddle.

Let him dive like a young arrow
Into clean water.

But, dear God
Let him play games! ...

I have been to a Military Hospital.
I have talked to Mike ...

Mike isn't much older.
His two boots hang at the foot of his bed.
Two carefully "dubbined" boots.
But Mike doesn't need two boots. 

He just had a leg taken off.
He was cut down at Dieppe.
He was fourteen months in prison camp in 
"O, yes ... they looked after us good enough --
But they had to tend their own wounded, first...
And there were so damn many of us!"

I talked to John,
After I got over the first shock.
John has both arms off... well above the elbow.
They call him "Arms" in the hospital ward.

It's sort of a grim... institutional joke.
John has an eye out, too --
The new glass one doesn't match his own eye.
"Are you married... or single... John?"
I managed.
"Single," he said ... "Oh yes, ... single."
He said it, thankfully,
Like a l-o-n-g sigh --
Like the sigh a child gives
Who has cried himself to sleep.
A hand grenade exploded in John's two hands.
It was the last thing he'll ever hold - in his
two hands!

And then there was Fred.
Fred got his at Sicily.
He'd been training for three and one half years
And he was in on the Big Push... three weeks!
Sure... it was shrapnel.
Took an eye out... and gave him a bum leg.
He had a picture of his English bride...
"Coming out to Canada, by God!
Next month -- if they'll let her.
Pretty good-looking guy
Wasn't I... in the wedding picture?"
You're doggone right!
But it made a fellow so damn mad!
Three and one half years' training
To "get into it" -- for three weeks.
And then ... hospitals ...
One after the other ...
For God-knows-how-long.
It made a guy so damn mad!

Mac hasn't any arms, now, either.
"How did he blow his nose?" --
Well ... he could laugh at that feeble crack,
And even give it serious consideration.
"By Gosh! --- I don't think I've had a cold
Since I got `knocked off' in Italy."

Mac is married.
He'd even had some leave
Out of "this here" hospital.
Getting ready for artificial arms, now.
Has to "stay put" for a while, yet ...
Oh, it takes quite a while,
This business of making a man
Makeshift-whole, again!
(Wonderful how a guy can pick up a book
in his teeth --
Smoke a cigarette, even -- with a little help!)

Further down the line there's a chap
with no nose.
And a very young, fair-haired boy
So badly burned
That you couldn't identify a feature
But his bright blue eyes.
Bright ... and hard ... and sharp...
On the look-out for pity.
(Don't let your lips quiver
In front of the young, fair-haired boy.
Don't look at him with tears in your eyes --
Can't you see how he feels?)

Going out, there are wheelchairs --
Doors opening on to rooms
Where wisps of men like grey shadows
Lie, curled up against their pillows.

The hospital smell clings to your skin,
To your palate.
You breathe it... taste it...
Stifle, in it!

Dear God! Let him play games
For a little while, yet!
Let him laugh out loud
And run like a young god
In the path of the sun.
I have been to a Military Hospital 
And I know there is nothing we can give
To Mike and John, and Freddie and Mac
That will make up for their Gethsemane.

There is nothing!
Glass eyes are not enough!
Artificial limbs are not a fair exchange... 

Dear God... let him play games
For a little while, yet!

So Fair a Season 

How could he tell them
There was a sleek small vixen
With a silken pelt
Who held his heart in thrall?
How could he tell them when that call
Came down the wind
His bones were thinn'd
With longing,
And he turned his back
On the pack?

Even he couldn't tell the strange
enchanted reason
Why fall should suddenly be so fair a season!

Spring Comes to a Small Town 

The pool players
That all winter long have lingered lazily
over the green-topped tables
Half-somnolent in the cloud of cigarette smoke,
Are seen lounging at precarious angles
Against the nearest tobacconist's windows.

Teen-age boys and girls link arms, and
Roller-skate on the paved streets,
Shoulders touching; and laughter like
a living thing between them.
Later, in the summer they will dance on Saturday evenings
Under gaudy Chinese lanterns.
And the prophecy of spring will be fulfilled.

A short stout lady bustles off her doorstep
Broom in hand
To do a little sweeping;
Her knitted suit fits closely
Like the sleek, green plumage of a plump
soft bird.

Babies... babies -- everywhere
Bouncing busily in their prams --
Eyes like bits of rain-washed sky...
And everyone exclaiming as they ride past
"Isn't he a darling!"

Old, old gentlemen taking little walks,
Their canes tapping the sidewalk
More and more confidently.
You can see how they feel about the sun,
It's a downright comfort!

Everything looks suddenly clean and shining.
The lettuce in the fruit-shop window
has a fresh-cut look
Like an accidental bouquet;
It suddenly becomes imperative to
speak to someone
And it doesn't matter in the least
If a perfect stranger goes white with surprise
When you tell them "It's a lovely day!"...
In no uncertain terms.

Spring comes to a small town
In rather a special sort of way!
After all, she can't add an awful lot to 
Fifth Avenue,
But there's room for just her kind of glamour
On Main Street!

For a Brown Dog

And the rusted spade turned in the dark earth
And we committed his body to the dust --
His little brown dog's body
That three minutes before
Had jumped for joy
And emitted joyous barks.

(But you couldn't go out and shoot the motorist
Who had run over him...
Especially when it was a woman
Who had shed appropriate tears!)

Only, you could burn inside with a fierce flame
Because he wouldn't come running to you
Any more
With a grin on his face
And his funny little plume of a tail
Frantic with love!

The rusted spade turned in the dark earth
And something of you went into the ground
With the little brown dog's body!

Right out of Pickwick 

Right out of Pickwick! You would have said: 
His quaint neat figure
Rotund, but tapered.
His trousers looked to be always peg-top, 
Narrowing down to his shining foot gear.
His woollen vests were from far-famed Bond Street,
Checked, and horsey and dear to his heart. 
You might have thought him a figure for laughter;
You might have laughed and said "Humpty Dumpty!"
If you hadn't known him, and hadn't loved him 
He was Uncle Reg to the young and the old --
He was Uncle Reg and his heart was gold... 

He'd been a Banker for many years
And then he'd retired, to the laughter and tears 
Of nursing his mother... delicate... old... 
But precious to him. She thought him a bold 
Brave knight, who chose to stay at her side. 
You hardly saw him, when she first died! 

When Kathie, his niece, married the mayor -- 
A tall young Scotsman with sandy hair --
In his high silk hat, that sat "just so", 
Old Uncle Reg was a regular Beau.
His cravat was faultess, his dignity sweet... 
From his topper top, to his gleaming feet! ...

On birthdays, in fine Spencerian hand
A letter would come. The words were grand 
And the style heroic. In dark green ink 
Uncle Reg would say, "I think
You the fairest lady this side of the sea 
Who wears her birthdays with gaiety. 
You have my wishes for scores and scores." 
And the letters were signed "Admiringly, Yours." 

There'd come a bottle of fine liqueur
At Christmas. A gift was always the best 
With a label. He thought it a very test 
Of friendship. You thought a person was dear and fine
So you gave him your choicest, rarest wine! 

He was at his best when the lights were high 
And laughter gleamed in the dancer's eye; 
He never would ask for your hand outright, 
But would seek your partner, and there in sight 
Would ask permission to squire you round
In a waltz; he was light as a blowing feather! 
His conversation was always whether
The party was fun for you. Compliments came to his lips more swift
Than the dancing music's whirling lift. 

He was no relation to us, by blood...
He was "Uncle" because of the great warm flood 
Of affection. We adopted him right from the time we met...
And he's Uncle Reg in our memory yet.

And there's never a birthday or Christmas night 
When the candles burn high and the eyes are bright
But a gentle whimsical courtly ghost 
Sits at our table. We miss him most 
Anniversary times!

"Right out of Pickwick," you would have said, 
If you'd seen hire strolling along the street, 
His neat small figure against the sky.

But Uncle Reg was a symbol, too 
Of the way the Quality used to do 
What was expected. He knew the rules
And he carried them out, to the last fine letter. 
Somewhere I think his dear small ghost 
Treads a gay measure ... murmuring, "Most 
Sweet gracious lady ..." to some slim shade 
Who finds him a gallant entrancing Blade!

Man is a Lonely One 

Man is a lonely one.
How close he huddles to his hearth and house, 
Walks quiet as a mouse
Down echoing streets... Gathers about him neighbours, 
Puts up with being bored 
While endless, pointless stories 
Roll from indifferent lips.

He does not like to wake 
In an empty house.
His spouse is his retreat from single-ness, 
His friendly bosom that will take him in 
And quiet his awareness,
Lull him to comfort and insentient peace; 
Build tender walls about his shivering self; 
Gather within the crescent of her arms 
The core of his alarms.
Man is a lonely one.
He builds himself a shelter from the night, 
Turns himself inward where the lamplight falls, 
Takes comfort in the stoutness of four walls.
Only when he strides out to face a gun 
Suddenly... strickenly, bravely
He is one!
War breaks his shell, and spews him forth alone 
Into a world most savagely his own!

This Bitter Brew 

This is a bitter brew
Mixed with my own hand, 
I recall how the herbs grew 
Flowering over the land. 

How the wind blew sweet 
And your eyes held the sun, 
And this need grew in my heart 
That will never be quite done. 

A cloud furled like midnight 
Covered the rising sea
And slipt like a raven shadow 
Bitterly over me.

You knew the sudden knowledge 
That filled my heart with fear 
And stood against the darkness 
As long as you were here!

It Was Tall in the Forest 
(Browning Island, Muskoka)

It was tall in the forest 
This morning...
The trees were on tiptoe 
With their shoulders hunched, 
And every daisy lifted its frill 
Down the lane between the trees 
I was a sudden giant!
"Ho!" I said to a tree toad 
Who crossed my path,
"Out of the way... Small Fry...
The world is tall to-day
And walking on long legs!
Ho!" I said to the Small Flat One, 
"Out of the way!"

Child ... Waiting in a Drawing-Room 

Her room reminded me
Of a rich, dark fruit-cake.
There was a "plum-iness" about it... 
A claret sort of aura.

Nervous as a witch 
On a sea of red carpet 
I sat on the edge
Of a high-backed chair,

Longing to hide behind the grave grey portieres
Or run like a rabbit
From her step on the stair!

Stars and the Dead 

Stars and the dead
Are faithful;
These, you may set your clock by; 
Promise to meet at such-and-such a time, 
And such a place --
The living can keep face 
With no such constancy.

Look on this thing
With disenchanted eyes --
Do not expect the living
In such wise!

The Old Lady and the Cat!

At the very top storey the old lady sat 
Telling her love to a smoky grey cat.
In a high, dark, old house like a tenement place. 
There were twinkles of merriment touching her face.

With a few bits of bread for the pigeons to eat 
She sat in her eyrie above the dark street; 
And the language she spoke to the cat and the birds
Was half made of poetry, half made of words. 

She was something remembered from tales you'd been told
Of witchcraft and crones when you weren't very old.
From beneath those high eaves in the middle of town
A page from your childhood looked piquantly down!

This Green 

This is the newest green 
As if an unseen Leprechaun 
Rushing across the lawn 
Had tipped his hand! 
Every tree
Is filigree.
There is a brush of colour 
In the hedges.
The Scillas and the tulip spears 
Conspire against you. 
Tenderness runs like bright fire 
Along the evening.

Turn quickly, if this thing can get you down... 
This green... this little love, that wraps the town! 


When I was small
And it would rain
Against the widest window-pane
I'd press my face and taste despair --
And streaked with woe I'd cry 

Useless to say
The clouds would pass
The lovely rain would green the grass, 
Would drench the lilacs,
Wash the world.
My heart was small and tense 
And curl'd
Tight as a snail...

Only the smell of sun on clover
Could make me glad the rain was over, 
Could set me free to walk enchanted 
The fresh, bright lanes;
Geared like a weather-vane am I 
By what goes on in yonder sky! 


Christmas to a little girl 
When she is small,
Means a toy tea-set 
Or a beautiful doll, 
Or a little grey muff 
With a matching fur
Beautiful beyond words 
These... to her!

Christmas to a woman grown 
Is different again.
It's all tangled crazily 
With mistletoe and men, 
With stardust and flowers 
And tunes for dancing feet, 
And packets out of jewellers' 
Marked "My sweet!"

But best of all, later on... 
Best of all three...
It's children's eyes by candlelight 
Around the tree!


We may be now a sphere apart 
And yet I find you in my heart
As warm and live, as once you were. 
A little stir, like candle flame
Still touches me.              
Your very name 
Can call you up to quicken me
To trembling silence. 
You may be 
To all intents and purposes
As far away as yon bright star 
That pricks the midnight. Very far 
A love can be... and yet... and yet... 
There is no way I may forget
Your essence. The "you"
That walked my nights and days 
I carry with me, deep inside,
As much a part of me as eyes
Or hands or lips -- or sudden laughter! 

How sweet to know there is no death, 
Not in the heart, that is...
A breath
Of shaken longing and you come 
To company me.
And I am dumb
With this bright knowledge 
Certain ... sure...
This then is deathless -- 
Does endure!


The bird in my breast 
That long had lain 
Ruffled of feather, 
Drenched with rain, 
Rises to fly.
You've set him free 
To sing himself 
Right out of me!

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