Say a prayer for von Herder - his mare's run away. Yet he'll walk 'til he finds her... his darling... his stray.
Though the river's in flood, and the roads all awash, and the bridges break up, and the Sun's setting Bosch. And there's nothing to follow. There's nowhere to go, for she's gone like the Summer... she's gone like that snow. And the crickets are breaking his heart with their song as the day caves in and the night is all wrong.
Did he dream, was it she who went galloping past and bent down the fern and broke open the grass ? Or who printed the mud with the iron and gold that he nailed to her feet when he was her lord ? And although she goes grazing a minute away he tracks her all night, he tracks her all day. Oh! Blind to her presence except to compare his injury here with her punishment there... Then at home on a branch in the highest tree a songbird sings out so suddenly.
Ah the Sun is warm and the soft winds ride on the willow trees by the riverside. Oh the world is sweet, as sweet as wide and she's there where the light and the darkness divide. And the steam's coming off her, she's huge and she's shy, and she steps on the Moon when she paws at the sky. And she comes to his hand but she's not really tame, she longs to be lost. He longs for the same. And she'll bolt and she'll plunge through the first open pass to roll and to feed in the sweet mountain grass. Or she'll make a break for the high plateau where there's nothing above like there's nothing below...
But it's time for the burden, it's time for the whip. Will she walk through the flame, will she fit in his grip ? So he binds himself to the galloping mare as she binds herself to the rider's snare. Beyond notions of space there's a left, and a right. There is no time, but there's still a day. And a night. When he leans on her neck and he whispers low "Whither thou goest so I will go".
And they turn as one, and they head for the plain with no need for the whip, ah, there's no need for the rein. Now the clasp of this union - who fastens it tight ? Who snaps it asunder, the very next night ?
Some see the rider, some see the mare, while you think that love's like smoke, beyond all repair. But his darling said "Leonard, just let it go by, that old silhouette on the great Western sky".
So I pick out a tune and they move right along, and they're gone like the smoke... and they're gone like this song.