He stands and scents the danger near,
Then scouring in a whirlwind cloud
Of dust, o'er the wide steppe he flies,
Fights his own fights with hoof unshod,
Untamed enjoys, untamed he dies !
'Sons of the wilderness so free,
How fair, how blest, your life must be !'
I cried, and bade them check their speed,
Whene'er my neighing Tatar steed,
A bitted slave, e'en to a word
Obedient, bore me to the herd ;
But the troop heeded not my cry,
And, scornful snorting, thundered by.
Nor could my spirit free as air
The castle's endless sameness bear ;
With zeal I learned the sylvan war,
'Gainst bird and beast of prey went forth,
And oft scarce saved from paw of bear
A life that only then had worth.
But ah ! we bend not Nature's will ;