I love thee, kindly ox; a sense serene
Of strength and peace thou dost infuse in me;
How like a solemn monument art seen
At gaze athwart the fertile fields and free!
The yoke to take contented thou dost lean,
To man’s light work thou addest dignity.
He urges, goads, and thou with placid mien
And eye’s slow turn dost answer patiently.
Thy spirit through thy nostril moist and black
In vapour issues. Like some glad refrain
Thy lowing dies upon the tranquil air.
Within thy sombre eye is mirrored back
The green reflection of the ample plain,
Austerely sweet, and in the silence fair.
Giosuè Carducci, “The Ox,” in A Selection of the Poems of Giosuè Carducci, Trans. Emily A. Tribe (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1921), p. 18.