The Flight

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

Softly into the saddle
Of my black horse with white feet;
Your brothers are frowning
And grasping swords in sleep.
My rifle is as clean as moonlight,
My flints are new;
My long grey sword is sighing
In his blue sheath.
Fatima gave me my grey sword
Of Temrouk steel,
Damascened in red gold
To cut a pathway for the feet of love.

My eye is dark and keen,
My hand has never trembled on the sword.
If your brothers rise and follow
On their stormy horses,
If they stretch their hot hands
To catch you from my breast,
My rifle shall not sing to them,
My steel shall spare.
My rifle's song is for my yellow girl,
My eye is dark and keen,
I'll send my bullet to the fairest heart
That ever lady loved with in the world.

My hand upon the sword
Shall be so strong,
He'll find the little laughing place
Where you dance in my breast;
And we'll have no more of the silly world
Where our lips must lie apart.
We'll let death pour our souls
Into one cup,
And mount like joyous birds to God
With hearts on fire,
And God will mingle us into one shape
In an eternal garden of gold stars.

Love Ballad of the Caucasus.

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