And many a bitter morn of wind and cold - Poem by Labid
And many a bitter morn of wind and cold
When its reins were in the hand
of the north wind.
I defended the tribe, my battle gear borne
by a winning courser,
Her reins my sash when I went
forth at dawn.
Then I mounted a lookout post
on a narrow, wind-blown peak
Whose dust rose to the banners
of the foe
Until when daylight dipped its hand into
the all-concealing night,
And darkness veiled the crotches of
each mountain pass,
To the plain I descended and my mare
held erect her neck
Like the date palm's stripped trunk at which
the picker's courage fails.
I spurred her to a speed
fit for the ostrich chase,
Until when she was heated through
and her bones were nimble,
Her light leathern saddle slipped,
sweat flowed from her neck,
And her saddle girth
was soaked with froth.
She coursed, head held high and thrusting
in the bridle, racing headlong
Like a thirsting dove to water when
her flock beats urgent wings.
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