A short life in the saddle, Lord!

Spirits of old that bore me,

And set me, meek of mind,

Between great dreams before me

And deeds as great behind,

Knowing humanity my star

As first abroad 1 ride,

Shall help me wear, with every scar,

Honour at eventide.

Let claws of lightning clutch me,

From summer s groaning cloud,

Or ever malice touch me

And glory make me proud.

O give my faith, my youth, my sword,

Choice of the hearts desire:

A short life in the saddle, Lord!

Not long life by the fire.
Forethought and recollection

Rivet mine armour gay!

The passion of perfection

Redeem my faulty way!

The outer fray in the sun shall be

The inner beneath the moon ;

And may Our Lady lend to me

Sight of the Dragon soon!

“The Knight Errant” by Louise Imogen Guiney, from vol. 1 of The Knight Errant journal published by Elsevir Press 1892.

image

Above: Detail from the cover art by Bertram Goodhue of The Knight Errant journal, published by Elsevir Press beginning 1892.

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