Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OPPORTUNITY, by EDWARD ROWLAND SILL



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OPPORTUNITY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream
Last Line: And saved a great cause that heroic day.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hedbrooke, Andrew
Variant Title(s): The Broken Sword
Subject(s): Opportunity; Victory


THIS I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream: --
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel --
That blue blade that the king's son bears, -- but this
Blunt thing -- !" he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.





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