She came to the court, laughter flashing in her eyes

Young and free, a nightingale from the woods.

Nobody could foresee her fate

Forlorn, alone, haunted by the only one left,

Her lover, Death.

Death, the only one who could love Sissi the way he could,

For all her faults, her indiscretions, her never ending disgrace

The only traveller on her lonely path to self willed harm.

They tried to subdue her, break her spirit, lock the nightingale into her cage to never sing her way out again.

But it was Death, her relentless pursuer who only had to glance at her, brush his fingers across her cheek to steel her will against him, thwart his intentions.

For he held fast to his desire for her from the moment of meeting,

The moment she had to open her eyes,

Those childlike blue eyes appealing to his mercy, searching his accursed soul for...what?

She had created space for his heart to beat with just one look, one lingering look.

Her black angel had let her walk the tightrope between life and death, watching for her chance to fall, to fall into his waiting arms.

She wanted to; she had to try to fly

Fly away from them all, those vultures pecking at her from all sides.

Her youthful innocence knocked out of her by harsh reprimand, severe demand, a thousand stares boring into her, holding her tight, tighter than a noose around her delicate throat.

Only Sissi could find freedom in Death's arms

Even as he sought after more, inflicting his undying obsession with fevered words and cold possession,

Holding her without touch, confining her without chains.

But even Death could not restrain the mind of Elisabeth, his first and last reluctant love, captivating his sore eyes with an unaffected swish of dark silken hair, stubborn will and tender embrace.

For she and only she could sing, for herself, could 'belong to me.'