Read "Vultures Come to the Ambarvalia" at The Eldritch Dark:
This haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) references a rite practiced in Roman times, wherein livestock were led in procession before being slaughtered as sacrifices to goddesses of fertility.
CAS' version features a wild creature in place of livestock, but he retains the processional feel of the ancient rite with his opening phrase "Funereal and austere". This lends a spiritual dimension to the proceedings, as the deer's passing is cast into the realm of a sacrifice, a seemingly random death acknowledged for its role in the grand cycles of death and rebirth that define the natural world.
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