The Rustler and the Lady
The wind stirred the darkness of trees,
And the moon sailed upon evening breeze.
A black ribbon of road led right to the door,
As a pounding of hooves was felt to the core.
So ... he rode, on a stallion of grace,
The starlight did touch his features of face.
Dressed all in black, not to be seen,
He pulled down his hat, no memory to glean.
His mission to meet his lady of love,
A pebble he threw at windows above.
No light was drawn when hearts would greet,
The stockman's daughter soon stood at his feet.
One kiss exchanged, but this was a crime,
The shadows did feel that moment in time.
When one's promise was seen as a wrong,
The words of his true love do cry in a song.
She pleaded and begged then turned well away,
He answered by saying, 'Later I'll stay.
Just one more herd, before morning's light,
Then I'll surrender to all that is right.'
A wrangler did hear these words of a sin,
It cut at his heart, for the daughter he'd win.
This was his dream, and forever be more,
For on this night he'd even the score.
It was not he who stroked at her hair,
He knew this then, that she would not care.
The rustler evoked the most sensual of sighs,
A caress of her skin, while closing her eyes.
Her perfume did mingle with sweetness of breath,
But the shades foretold of a coming of death.
The outlaw soon rode through the velvet of dark,
The whispers of treason, he never would hark.
That the moon did signal the blue-coated men,
Who trooped to the station, the number of ten.
They captured the daughter and drew her aside,
'Now tell us where, and when does he ride.'
She would not answer, ignoring the lust,
Knowing in soul she'd turn dust into dust.
So turning away with a shaking of head,
A betrayal was naught, she'd rather be dead!
The hours did crawl, dwelling on fears,
And the stockman's daughter's spilling of tears.
She could not tell her lover of heart,
No hearing of danger right from the start.
Should she scream, or should she refrain,
Must she endure this coldness of pain?
Maybe she'd flee, can she but dare?
The light of the moon showed a road that was bare.
But wait ... a sound, was it once heard?
Listening a moment brought whistle of bird.
Action was now, so she looked all around,
Death with no mercy was all that she found.
'Now run', she cried, 'they're wanting your blood',
The boys in blue surged out in a flood.
The guns did blaze, firing from doors,
The rustler did turn to ride for the moors.
A target delivered, no seeing back,
The shadow did laugh, pointing at black.
A shot was fired, no aiming up high,
The outlaw was killed, fell cursing the sky.
Through smoke and through haze a lady did walk,
The silence of grief gives no reason to talk.
She strode to her love, a deed to be done,
The fight is not over 'less victory is won.
She knelt in sorrow, with tears in her eyes,
She looked into darkness, no telling of lies.
Sounds of a gunsot rang out crystal clear,
Then shadows would mourn the scandals they hear.
Laughter was heard as the daughter lay down,
The mixing of blood not causing a frown.
The rustler and lady together at last,
A story now told of times that are past.
In winds that stir the length of the trees,
When the moon does sail upon a soft evening breeze.
Listen a while, wherever you're bound,
Through whispers of gumleaves, you may hear a sound.
Of hoofbeats and gunshots, then a silence so still,
On the road to the station on top of the hill.
Where the rustler and lady did suddenly die,
But do not think this is reason to cry.
For not long ago, this love could not be,
Sometimes in life, we are not always free.
Now hear the laughter of lovers' delight,
Bathed in the mists of a lush summer's night.
Margaret Rose Blake, March 2003