The Hunters and Their Prey

An original ballad.

Upon the wastes, he dared to tread,

in search of the choicest meal.

For his own treasured love, not bread

but just the freshest veal.

To win her heart was his one goal,

all with food and finest fair.

Whatever the price, he'd pay the toll

for his lover's eye to bear.

I could not let him have her heart

for I had grown to love

her, too. To think of us apart;

To fail, would shame my God above.

This woman's love could not be shared

between two men. The right

to her must then be declared.

And fight for her one might.

So, through the snow, I followed close,

that man unaware of me.

He tracked his prey wherever it rose.

I never let him be.

Not far ahead I let him reach,

though craftily he snuck.

I let him find an elk with each

gentle, flowering buck.

When he had made his last decision,

I raised my rifle.

He aimed his gun with such precision.

The animal, an eyeful.

Soon, the buck rose its head to see

the head of the hunter.

It primed its legs to flee

before it was forced into slumber.

The craft of fire lit up the night.

Two shots fired together.

The two prey fell with little fight,

and braced the freezing snow.

"The snow will hide the signs to scan

that blood was shed for love's sake."

I stood before the dying man

to find him still awake.

"In my last moments, tell me why

you acted out this crime."

"It's done so she cannot deny

that she'll love me in due time."