A rhythmic poem, tres dramatique!
Out from the west the black horsemen are riding
Out of the sun with their harsh voices chiding
Silver hooves crashing and capes all a-flying
Weaving the warp and the weft of the dying
Out of the storm cloud a host of dark rangers
Helms flash in light with a sword-glint of danger
Horse’s legs flailing and hooves tipped with silver
Crossing with ease the fast-foaming white river
One with an eye like a pool of bright water
Ready for fighting and come for the slaughter
Fixes on me and then speeds on forever
Never again will I see this, no never!
Cold in the rain as I shiver and tremor
Thundering hooves shake the earth with their clamour
The host passes on with their banners a-waving
We few stand forlorn, we are not fit for saving
Wave crashes down in the fit of the water
Wave crashes down on both me and my daughter,
Spitting and struggling, I cling to the raft-logs
Crying and calling, I cling to the raft-logs
Now she is gone and the water is lashing
Foaming and sucking, the water is crashing
Pity my life as I cling on so lonely
My daughter is gone and I had her, her only.
Blinking. The water is sluicing and sinking,
Ebbing away from the village. I’m thinking
Already of how my life runs from this day:
Nothing to die for; no more to say.
Great stuff dude.
For the first few stanzas I thought this was going to be about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but … I was left unsure of what it is about. Technically it is very good, apart from, if I may, the repetition: the two “I cling to the raft-logs” jar a bit. But who is the guy on the raft? why is he there? what’s he got to do with the horsemen? why did his daughter not survive when he did? So many questions, but that is perhaps your intention? Elfstone
That repetition was entirely deliberate. And yes, I don’t explain everything. When this first appeared some thought it should be two separate poems, but I (obviously) see it as one (with the break) I suppose either would work
“Like”. The rhythm is similar to “Young Lochinvar”