Winter winds blow harsh and cold,
bringing snow to cloak the trees
in powdered raiment of far climes
shrouded in white mystery.
Beneath the crystal-laden branches
a wanderer has lost his way
- no birds sing to give directions,
silence rules the close of day.
But with the first cold star's appearance
a harsh cry cuts the still, dark air.
"Follow me," calls a gaunt black crow,
"follow me, if you dare..."
Careful, careful weary traveller,
Hearken not to the crows cry,
Tis for sure that he spells danger,
Follow him and you may die.
But the pilgrim cold and tired
Feels this may be his one chance,
To escape the wrath of winter,
See him cautiously advance.
Fear me not, oh frightened stranger,
I am here to lead you home
Where the cold no longer bites you
And there is no need to roam.
"We crows have a fearsome reputation,
that I don't deny
but some of us are hale and true,
secret custodians of the ancient
and unfettered sky!
Climb upon my glossy back
and high above the coming snow
where skies are still a lustrous blue
there is a path that some birds know
and I am one amongst the few...
Grown now to the size of a horse
the crow let forth a raucous snort,
stamping its feet with impatience.
"Quickly now, make your mind up,
there are worms waiting to be eaten
and dragons to be slayed
- or will you stay in Winter's realm
and lie down in a frozen grave?
Tell me Oh Crow, where were going,
Promise you wont do me wrong,
Climb aboard, the huge bird tells him,
Youll be glad you came along.
Shivering, the wary wanderer
Slowly climbs onto the crow
Feels his feathers sleek and oily
As he lifts off from the snow.
Off they soar above the white trees
Up they fly towards the stars
Passing Jupiter and Neptune
Almost colliding with Mars.
But where have they gone, you ask
and what adventures did they have?
Did the giant crow bring the traveller safely back
and if so, what tales did he have to tell?
My friend, Winter is fast approaching again.
Should you find his small white servants
nibbling at your bones or soul
and should your enquiries be in earnest
waste no more time questioning me
and deliberating thus
but hearken to the old gaunt tree
beyond yon frozen field
- therein sits the same dark crow,
with yellow eyes and beak of black gold.
Climb upon its luminous back
and watch the fields of Space unfold...