My ancestors pulled chariots upon the Irish plain,
Through din and crush of battle, with foesí blood on hoof and mane.
They led the Hound of Ulster with the lightning on his brow.
If you respect my bloodline Iíll consent to bear you now.
If you respect our compact Iíll consent to bear you now.
Crusaders from the west took Kilij Arslan unawares
When a thousand Frankish stallions met a thousand Turkish mares.
Two armies learned a lesson under battle-dusted skies:
If you deny my nature you are in for a surprise!
If you deny our compact you are in for a surprise!
Do not think that you command me, nor think that I am tame.
My spirit is not broken, I do not serve in shame.
Though we jointly share the bounty that our ancient pact conferred,
Respect is what you promised, and you must keep your word.
A saddle with a stirrup and a short bow in the hand
Are needed for survival in a cold and arid land,
Where the sky goes on forever for the sons of Temujin.
Respect me as an ally, Iíll accept you as my kin.
If you respect our compact Iíll accept you as my kin.
The English prayed to Crispian as they spilled Frenchmenís blood,
But there was no saint for horses to lift us from that mud.
The arrows didnít kill us, we were slain for human pride.
Respect that sacrifice, and Iíll consent to let you ride.
If you respect our compact Iíll consent to let you ride.
Five and twenty ponies trotting through the dark
Brandy for the parson, baccy for the clark .
Iíll follow you through danger with your wealth upon my back
But if you take me for granted you can carry your own pack!
If you deny our compact you can carry your own pack.
Whether pulling plow or chariot my worth you know full well.
Iíll bear a heavy burden, or bring you safe from hell.
Though Iím eager to charge in wherever hunt- or war-horn sounds
Give me my proper value or Iíll leave you on the ground!
If you deny our compact I will leave you on the ground.
Yes, we jointly share the bounty that our ancient pact conferred,
But if you would keep my service, then you must keep your word.
© 2006 by Jean Jacobson
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