Through marsh and meadow, wood and creek,
with nostrils flared and frantic eyes,
his hooves are sure, his thoughts are bleak,
he runs from hunting blood-lust cries
and hears a bugle harshly screech
across the land he loves so well.
But now there is no place to reach:
no secret glen, no nameless dell,
his story lost beyond reprieve
relentless is his wild dis-ease
no beauty left, no way to grieve,
their stomping feet on bluebell seas.
And though he knows he can outpace
and ever keep them out of sight
his will is lost in failing grace
his stride slows down, he yearns his plight,
his horn shines dim in pale moonlight.
But stopping short he stares in awe:
at a maiden sitting silent
in eased recline, on leafy floor.
Her hair falls smooth, her neck is bent.
Her eyes seem wondrous pure and blessed.
He stands enveloped by her scent.
His breath calms down in gentle rest
Her stillness swathes, his joints relent
he kneels and brings his head to nest
across her lap so full and calm,
his nose soft-pressed along her breast,
he feels protected now from harm
and lets her fingers interlace
in spiral twists around his horn.
But gazing up into her face
He hears the hunt has level drawn
And turning sees their looks of scorn.
The hounds reach first and hold him fast,
in blood vice clenches as he lies,
his throat is cut, his hopes out-cast,
his body makes as if to rise,
but trembling, broken, falls to ground.
His racing thoughts review his life…
those youthful dreams that seemed so sound,
and later, struggling hard through strife
to find his beauty, find his love,
as friends are downed and woods cut back
by those who wave their swords above.
And now he feels their last attack:
a sword is hacking off his horn.
The maid looks on his dreadful plight:
has she betrayed? Is all forlorn?
He cannot tell through fading sight
And joins at last the welcome night.