A Strength No Animal Is Lent

O gallant steed, my question heed,
Why do you march so fast?
Though April may not come today,
The worst is surely passed.

With haste you trudge, on slime and sludge,
On noble hidden feet.
What drives you so, to where you go?
Have you old friends to greet?

Others like me, you shall not see,
If you do not hide now.
I must declare to you, beware!
The raven on my boughs.

You are not one to dare outrun,
This bird of night and cold.
You must now find a place to hide,
Inside your own stronghold.

I see alone a hollow stone,
Amidst my writhing roots.
Please hide in here and do not fear,
This furious feathered brute.

I wish you luck as you now tuck
Yourself into a ball,
Inside the rock, away you lock,
Yourself from one and all.

He gently drops and swiftly hops,
To you.  Leave not your haven!
He fails to pry each time he tries,
And, fleeing, flies the raven.

His shameful flight proves you a knight,
Brave champion of the litter.
With lion-heart you’ve played your part,
And rendered fell beasts bitter.

Without a loan, please keep the stone,
May shield and shell prevail,
With Strength No Animal Is Lent,
March on my friend, the snail.

Refuse to feast such crafty beasts,
And earn a worthy tale.
Away, fell craven! Flee, dark raven,
The travelling knight, the snail.

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