Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

THE FLIGHT


 

HE came riding up to the gates by night.
        Ride swift!
An hundred horsemen to left and to right;
        Ride swift!
An hundred torches did glimmer and quiver,
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And she leaped to his arms as the brook to the river;
        Ride swift!

He hath borne her away from castle and bower,
        Ride long!
Thunder they under the dark night hour;

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        Ride long!
Thunder they on her kinsmen to meet;
And horror and death in the blackness and sleet;
        Ride long!

Two phantom riders have hurled to the sea;

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        Ride still!
Who cast no shade to the moon as they flee;
        Ride still!
And they ride for ever by glimmer and foam,
With the moon and the blackness guiding them home;
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        Ride still!

A man and a maiden lie under the night,
        Ride slow!
And the moon on their faces is chillèd and white;
        Ride slow!

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For love hath stolen from turret and tower,
And woe is the dreaming and woe is the hour!
        Ride slow!