Deep in a thicket, a wolf lived alone,
Scorning the pack he hunted on his own.
He fought the puma and the bear and stole their kill,
Roaming free, he lived by his own will.
Free and fierce and utterly untamed,
He killed and ate and did all unashamed.
He nothing knew or cared of pity, he stood apart
Exulting in his strength and hardness of heart
And fleet flying paw and earth gripping claw,
That flowed with power behind bone snapping jaw.
All love to him was alien and strange,
Until one day there came a deadly change.
He came upon a meadow and halted at its edge,
A lamb was running there, bounding through the sedge
In the marsh, and clover on the hill.
The wolf's cold heart shuddered and was still.
He watched the lambkin run and leap and prance
With joyous abandon, her young springtime dance.
For the first time he could not slay,
Though he was hungry, nor could he slink away.
He stayed to watch her joy. She spied him there
And danced to his side. Blithely unaware
He was her natural foe, she laid her head
Against his steel gray fur all stained with red.
Then she leapt away and turned with a glance
Most quizzical, inviting him to join her dance.
But he could not dance, his legs were stiff,
And she laughed at him, and pranced as if
He were just too ridiculous and needlessly grim.
Then she laid at his feet to sleep, fearless of him.
He has never left that field, he is wounded to his death.
He guards her now, and will until his dying breath.
Love for her has taken its dreadful toll
His heart drives him on his unending patrol.
Round the field he runs driving off the bear,
And snake and tiger. She is still unaware.
He is driven mad lest harm should come to her by some mischance.
He never lets her out of sight. And he has still not learned to dance.
So it is, and thus will it always be,
Until the Shepherd comes to set them free.