A long time ago or a place far away,
but neither both nor neither,
there lived a maiden strong of heart-
the sister of a squire.
This daughter of a knight, she roamed
a bit too far one day.
A silent, fallen man-at-arms
snatched her-stole her away.
He hid not his face nor the scar on his hand
but for two days he spoke not a word.
Atop a horse's back they rode-
he and his caged little bird.
Their journey was halted by bandits in grey;
the man loosed her bands and she fled
to an old hollowed tree and took shelter inside-
as she listened, her heart filled with dread.
A skirmish ensued, then petered out-
she cared not to know who remained-
and just as she thought she might get away,
her captor returned, bloodstained.
With leaden feet, she trudged a way back
to the steed that had carried her off,
but the man who abducted the sable-haired girl
bound her not and replaced her aloft.
Longtime they traveled, on and on-
she knew not why she stayed;
for when he proposed to set her free,
she spoke not, and would not be swayed.
Their path was blocked a second time-
now by an agéd knight,
who confronted the man that went back on his word
his words slowly filling with spite.
"You've abandoned your king and deserted your land,"
said the man with a trembling voice,
"And now you've taken my daughter, my love-"
"Sir," said he, "She had a choice."
He recounted his story thus far to the man
and his daughter, who yet didn't know:
"I was sent by a village plagued by a beast
for a maiden to sacrifice - no!"
he cried out as the lady dismounted, distraught
by this horrible news. He followed
and quickly continued his tale: "I instead
sought for a lady," he swallowed,
"To speak to this dragon; to show him his wrongs."
The girl returned, glad, to his side.
The elder, irate with his former comrade,
drew his sword; the younger replied.
The young lady stepped quickly between the two knights,
but neither had seen her in time,
and she was run through by both father and friend
who wept over her and repined.