Born in the dark grey granite dell
On a morn of russet chill,
Damp heather now will be my bed
On this moorland, heath & hill.
And when my mother's milk runs dry
Tough grass will be my fare.
No fancy bran and oats for me
I bother not, nor care.
My ancestors have trod the path
Where now my hooves will tread,
Their ghosts a thousand silver manes
Of mist above my head.
I neatly pick my way between
The granite shale and stone.
I'll find water here to quench my thirst
In this unforgiving home.
I'll learn to seek some shelter
'Neath some craggy hill or Tor,
When winter wraps his cold, cold hand
Around this Devon moor.
Or I'll huddle with my brothers
While our velvet muzzles blow
Soft streams of breath that welcome
Those of our kin, we love and know.
When Springtime comes we'll shed our coats,
Leave tufts upon the wire
And that will line some blackbird's nest.
It's all his heart desires.
And Summer sees us postcard-pretty.
We're soft like eiderdown,
The moorland seems to show us off
Like jewels within her crown.
And when the warm sun's memory
Is all we have to hold,
The rain beats down upon our heads
The wind is cruel and cold.
We're driven to the local sale.
The folk will come and stare.
We stand as we await our fate
Will no saviour be there?
And will the Dartmoor pony be
A legend in our time?
Once so fierce and proud a race
But now we're in decline.
We were your long time heritage
Upon your land and leases.
And now our worth is far less than
Some Thirty Silver Pieces!
I'm still as sure and fleet of foot
As any noble steed.
Come Devon people hear my call
So great now is my need.
Maggie Duffy - 2010