Snowmane

The foal of Lightfoot, a stallion grown:
Selected of the best,
Equine perfection arrayed and shining,
Bright white on the greensward around you.
In strength and swiftness you excelled,
In gentleness of pace and grace of turning
You were a sweet song in motion.
The choice of a King.

The blessing of a people went with you -
They knew the inherent fine temper you displayed,
You were a treasure to be cherished by them.
Snowmane they named you, that moist spring day,
When your well-formed body first slipped to the earth;
Your young legs tottered under you
As your dam stood patiently by.
They gifted you with a name that,
Had they known it, forebode your ending -
Both bright and cold,
As a glorious spark of sunlight off the ice,
Shadows of the fateful day beauty
And cold death would follow you to Gondor.

Tho' trained for battle, many seasons you faced it not -
Your master lay dormant and quiet in his Hall.
But when he came forth, like you he shone:
The banner white and green,
Unfurled in the wind, your likeness flashing above him,
His own silver-white glory reflected
By yours.
You were made for one another,
The mount of a King,
Surely you were foaled for this very season,
Snowmane.

Restively you paced at the head of a procession,
Bright eyes choosing the smoothest path.
Fearlessly you led your kin to war,
Bearing their soldiers with them.
Like a King among the horses of Rohan,
Second only to Shadowfax you were.
Bearing your master tirelessly into battle,
Lending him your strength and speed as his own.
Ready to his service: your final surge of life.

With your bright mane flowing round him,
With your strength and loyalty by him,
The rhythm of your hooves and the rhythm of his heart,
The sound of the horn and the cries round about you
Led you both to redouble your effort.
How he shone upon your back, Snowmane!
How great was his glory and his triumph -
Lifted up by your height, arrayed
Like a King from the ballads of old -
His song borne upon your melody.

A hard ending beset you -
Such a sudden darkness overshadowing.
Had you known of it would you have quailed?
To die, unwittingly taking the very life
Of him who had gently tended you -
Who could have foreseen it?
O faithful heart, and loyal friend,
You were the one beside him in the end.
Trying to shield him with your body,
In your agony you slew him instead,
Him who you loved best.
He lay dying beside you on a war-torn field,
Mingled blood staining his whiteness and yours.
Your life flowed out onto the bruised grasses,
And your bright eyes were darkened;
Your songs interweaving one last time.

The flowers grow sweet upon your grave.
The flowers grow, and the seasons pass.
The War is past, and the victory was attained -
But the price was hard, and heavy to pay.
You paid, as so many others did
Who also remembered the green fields of Rohan.
Let the soft grasses cover you over.
Here you will sleep, but you will not be forgotten.

"Faithful servant yet master's bane
Lightfoot's foal, swift Snowmane."

- Primula