Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Warrior Maiden's Lover

[A companion to “The Warrior Maid,”
by Anna Hempstead Branch]

They took me from my mother
When I was yet a child,
My father’s son to make me,
A warrior fierce and wild.

I trained and sparred and struggled,
Each gain was dearly bought,
But as strength grew I realized
Strength wasn’t what I sought.

And on the day of battle
I felt not rage nor fear,
But rode towards a presence,
Now mysteriously near.

I felt a call within me,
As flaming lances shook,
And calling, sought its echo,
And then knew her at a look.

Her joy was blazing laughter,
All else was as the night,
So shone my dearest, fiercest,
Beautiful bright light.

I soared in sudden skies,
All longing laid to rest,
And, soaring, never heeded
Her sword that found my breast.

She rode on, singing, scything,
Her joy was as my own,
And flew I alongside her,
All doubt now overthrown.

And did she feel my presence?
Or made my soul a sound?
For back she wheeled, racing
To my body on the ground.

On still-warm lips she kissed me,
And drew from me her blade,
When a hundred foes surrounded
My shining warrior maid.

What of defeat and capture?
Her laughter rang out clear.
What if our bodies perish,
Now that our souls are near?

So laugh, my love! your captors
Know not how you are free.
As you gave me my freedom,
So I will come to thee.

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