and also Naaahbr-Born-in-Night.
and I saw also that which was worse,
how they did not use all of their strength to fight.
he lets it hold in the sky,
deciding whether it will agree to fall.
and fear like a sharp line ran through them.
It made them weak.
They ran and tightened the grip,
as if they had been prisoner-born.
I kept my head. I kept still and
saw how the rope was only grass.
and collect the weak from among us.
I saw him take Brind and Thruth;
they were strong then as I am now.
I learned the scent of man coming up the mountain.
I wanted to see what was in man’s flat face.
It was pale, ugly, naked as the belly of a frog.
He came sitting upon a stallion of the Eastern hills
clicking his tongue over that regal head
soft and playful as a cricket.
Perhaps it is his share of the exchange.
I let that voice wash over me like slow rain,
his rope slack around my neck.
He made me see the thick, good grass of Thistle Rock
and long for the sweet waters of the Two Moons Divide.
then I turned fast and kicked him in the ribs.
On that day, my heart grew full of fire,
and my lungs grew full of wind.
I tore, and cursed, and bloodied myself.
He held his head high as one determined.
He whinnied the old lines, nearly rebuking,
"It is time to wake.
It is time to wake.
The morning has come."
so that a clan of men held me fast while the songmaker
poured a burn over my wound and wrapped it round.
Their hands were hard,
and they made ugly sounds like the wild dogs.
They did not make music.
There was death in them, and arrogance,
He sat beside me speaking soft, beautiful things.
I remembered his voice next day
when he led me into the round.
I fought, and defied, and swore.
I broke everything I could.
I tried my best to kill him.
He waited for me to wear my own strength away.
He waited for me to find the end of myself,
and here is what I have come to know from it:
There is pleasure come a bright clean morning,
holding the songmaker upon your back
while you stretch your legs upon the hills.
in his singing and clucking over you.
It is like the pleasure of the great gold eagles
who make their life journey in pairs,
who make circle shadows, high over the valleys.