Dawn ignites a silvery sky,
Chasing shadows from the rock;
Sentry stirs with watchful eye
High above the overlook.
Hearths awaken, hid from sight,
Shapes resolve from cleft and cave;
Gazes wary, footfalls light,
Hearts are hardened, faces grave.
Grim sets forth the desert band
To the designated place;
Martial columns cross the sand
Absent any rhythmic pace.
Solemn stands the gathered throng,
Called to rite by ancient ways;
Swelling voices lift in song
On this fateful day of days.
Mind afire, fear aborning,
Youth unseasoned stands apart;
Gauntlet's moment fast approaching
Sharpens thought and steels the heart.
Drumming summons beat the sand,
Drawing up the Old Man's wrath;
Hook in fledgling's ready hand
Stays the Maker from his path.
Up and over, worm astride,
Mountain mounted, spirits soar;
Ululations trill with pride--
Rider is a youth no more.