Hour after hour the pursued and pursuing
Scour o'er the sand-waste, their speed still renewing ;
Foam-mantled steed, how thy sobbing gasps thicken !
Bird of the Sahara, thy lagging steps quicken,
So art thou safe! 'Tis too late ! lo, already
Trail her fringed wings, and her foot is unsteady !
Blindly she staggers, she seeketh to hide her !
Courage, bold gray, and thou soon art beside her !
Headlong she rolleth, still fluttering and shivering,
O'er her the courser stands panting and quivering,
Aali hath lifted his weapon, she boundeth
High in the death-throe, her flapping wing soundeth
Hoarse as the tempest ; the frightened steed starteth,*
Swerves, plunges, rears, till the saddle-girth parteth ;
Off springs his lord, down the barb droppeth dying,
Courser and camel-bird side by side lying !
* The victory is not without danger. The fluttering of the bird's wings,
as she falls, inspires the horse with a sudden terror, which often proves
fatal to the rider.