As I rode out in the woods so cold
On a great white stallion, with a sword of gold
In a suit of bright armor gleaming like the sun
I met an old dame with her mind undone
She fled in terror to behind the tree
She raved, she cowered, and peered out at me
What manner of man are you, Sir Knight,
To give an old woman such a hellish fright?
I said: Dame Mother, no man am I
Fear me not! Come hither! Look me in the eye!
For in truth Im a woman as well as you
I will not harm you I speak you true!
Marry, come up, young scoundrel, this I do not believe
Youre a clever fellow, but you do not deceive
What woman would venture as a knight to ride?
And if you mean no harm, why the sword at your side?
"If I seem to do battle, it is not to kill
But to do as I please and be what I will
My armor is Courage, my shield is Youth
And the sword I bear is the Sword of Truth!
I drew my sword from its gleaming sheath
I kissed it and threw it down at her feet
Pray, take this, good Mother, for your time is nigh
And I think you have need of it more than I!
I left her there peering from behind the tree
Did she take up the sword, or did she leave it be?
Would she ever believe me? Did she understand
That a figure of strength need not be a man?