The Flight

By George Sterling

'Twas night when I hurried
  From out her ancient house,
With the slim girl, the shy girl,
  Who fainted for a mouse.

Troubadour was I,
  And proud o' blood was she.
Were we seen and overtaken,
  Swords had crossed in me.

Dark were the towers behind us,
  And dark the hills ahead;
Morning seemed long a-coming,
  The night that we fled.

It found us half-spent,
  And far we had to go.
I was glad of our weariness,
  She leaned on me so.

We took no breathing-space
  Upon our upward path:
From the blue plain below us
  I felt her father's wrath.

And fast were we winning
  To the refuge far and high,
When Ralph Du Mont came
            down the road,
With sword upon his thigh.

"Ha! cursed thief!"
  And "Ha! thou hawk" cried he,
"Dost dare to seek thy nest,
  "With quarry such as she?"

Down from his stallion
  He swept like a flame;
Like a flame from the scabbard
  His long sword came.

The blade that I wore
  Snapped on this own.
Prone on the greensward
  I felt myself thrown.

I felt his great hands
  Close on my throat….
Far away and farther, farther,
  The world began to float….

The world went out in mist
  And I knew that I had died;
And the last sound I heard
  Was a far voice that cried.

Long I lay, who knew not
  How long I had lain….
Sound by sound and touch by touch,
  The world came back again.

Her hair was dark about me,
  And my head was in her lap.
Softly she wept who saved our love
  From so sore mishap.

I lifted up my head,
  Struck by a sudden fear.
His own sword in his throat,
  Ralph Du Mont lay near.

She who had thrust it there,
  Quietly she cried:
It was the only sound I heard
  Upon the green hillside….

With my kinsmen of the mountains
  I have built a fair house,
For the shy girl, the brave girl,
  Who fainted for a mouse.

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