after the poem "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes

Part I

The solar wind whipped in darkness, among the silent stars
The moon was a silver spaceship 'twixt Jupiter and Mars
The road was a ribbon of moonlight, down to the shipyard shore
And the skywayman came riding-
The skywayman came riding up to the shipyard port.

Black bangs brushed over his forehead, his ears pointed long and thin,
He wore a cloak of velvet, soft breeches cloy'd to his skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a foreign splendor,
Wrapped in majestic splendor,
Himself an alien splendor, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed around the docking field,
He tapped his whip on the porthole, but all was secured and sealed;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there?
The ship's sovereign lord and master,
Kirk, the ship's sovereign master,
Inspiring his crew to hold steady, though danger filled the air.

And in the dark old shipyard, a mooring-wicket creaked
Where Ben the records' officer listened, his face white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair had gone to gray,
For he loved the ship's lord and master,
The ship's only lord and master,
Still as a cat he listened, and Ben heard the Vulcan say-

"One kiss my fair-haired sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight,
I shall be back with the cloaking device before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He rose erect in the saddle; he scarce could reach the port,
But Kirk unlatched the porthole, and smiling he leaned out
Spock knew that this was heaven as he stroked the golden hair;
And he kissed the lips in the moonlight,
Oh sweet full lips in the moonlight
Then he tugged his rein in the moonlight, and spurred on the fiery mare.

Part II

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise of moon,
When the road was a hangman's lanyard, looping the fleet in short,
A Romulan troop came marching-
At Ben's word, the troop came marching, and stormed the ship in port.

They said no word to the red-shirts; they coldly slew them dead,
But they tied the ship's lord and master and bound him to the bed;
Two of them knelt at his casement, with phasers at their side!
There was death at every porthole;
And hell at one dark porthole;
For Kirk could see through the casement, the road that Spock would ride.

They had tied him up at attention, with many a loathful jest;
They bound a phaser beside him, with the barrel beneath his breast.
"Now keep a good watch!" they dared him.
Kirk heard his Vulcan say-
'Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!'

Kirk twisted his hands behind him, but all the knots held good.
He writhed his hands 'til his fingers were wet with sweat or blood.
They stretched and strained for the phaser;  Romulans sat close by.
This may be his only action,
His last, all-important action.
The tip of one finger reached it!  His moment now was nigh!

The tip of one finger reached it; he strove no more for the rest.
Up he stood at attention, with the barrel beneath his breast,
He would not risk their hearing; this effort must not fail;
For Spock would return by moonlight
A thieving spy in the moonlight;
And then Spock would die by moonlight, die on the shipyard trail.

T'lot-t'lot, t'lot-t'lot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
T'lot-t'lot, t'lot-t'lot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The skywayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The Romulans looked to their phasers; Kirk stood up straight and still.

T'lot-t'lot, in the black silence. T'lot-t'lot in the echoing night.
Nearer he came and nearer. Kirk's face was like a light.
Kirk's eyes grew wide for a moment; he drew one last deep breath,
Then his finger moved in the moonlight,
Phaser fire outshone the moonlight
Burned his breast in the moonlight, and warned Spock with his death.

Spock turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
In the cold glow of that phaser, charred clear though the chest.
Until an admiral told him, his face turned gray to hear
'Twas the ship's lord and master;
The ship's only lord and master
Who watched for his love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood-green were his spurs i' the golden noon; olive-green was his velvet cloak,
When they shot him down in the moonlight,
Down like a sehlat in the moonlight,
As he lay in his blood in the moonlight, a single name he spoke.

And still of a starry night they say, when the wind sighs through the stars,
When the moon is a silver spaceship 'twixt Jupiter and Mars,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight o'er the salty shores,
A skywayman comes riding-
A skywayman comes riding, up to the old Earth port.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the docking field,
And he taps his whip on a porthole, but it is secured and sealed;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the ship's sovereign lord and master,
Kirk, the ship's sovereign lord and master,
Inspiring his crew to hold steady, though danger fill the air.