Iron-clad feather-feet pounding the dust, An October's day, towards evening, Sweat embossed veins standing proud to the plough, Salt on a deep chest seasoning. Last of the line at an honest day's toil, Turning the deep sod under, Flint at the fetlock, chasing the bone, Flies at the nostrils plunder. The Suffolk, the Clydesdale, the Percheron vie With the Shire on his feathers floating. Hauling soft timber into the dusk To bed on a warm straw coating.
Heavy Horses, move the land under me. Behind the plough gliding slipping and sliding free. Now you're down to the few And there's no work to do: The tractor's on its way". Let me find you a filly for your proud stallion seed To keep the old line going. And we'll stand you abreast at the back of the wood Behind the young trees growing. To hide you from eyes that mock at your girth, And your eighteen hands at the shoulder. And one day when the oil barons have all dripped dry And the nights are seen to draw colder They'll beg for your strength, your gentle power Your noble grace and your bearing. And you'll strain once again to the sound of the gulls In the wake of the deep plough, sharing.
Standing like tanks on the brow of the hill Up into the cold wind facing In stiff battle harness, chained to the world Against the low sun racing. Bring me a wheel of oaken wood A rein of polished leather A Heavy Horse and a tumbling sky Brewing heavy weather.
Bring a song for the evening Clean brass to flash the dawn Across these acres glistening Like dew on a carpet lawn. In these dark towns folk lie sleeping As the heavy horses thunder by To wake the dying city With the living horseman's cry. At once the old hands quicken, Bring pick and wisp and curry comb, Thrill to the sound of all The heavy horses coming home.