Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BRAWL, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE BRAWL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Rapiers, clash over the wine cups!
Last Line: (huzza! Thrust and parry!)


Rapiers, clash over the wine cups!
(Guard, gallants merry!)
Fling the flincher to bait where the swine sups!
(Ward, gallants merry!)
Here in the house of fray flickers good steel.
Room for the rapier's way, elbow and heel!
Drunken night pales from day, doomward to reel,
(Huzza! Thrust and parry!)

Watch where the windows grow lighter!
Candle-light shrinks on the tables.
Dawn lays her chill on the fighter.
Ho! Our steeds stamp in the stables.
(Thrust, gallants merry!)
Wine stains or blood stains are ruddy.
Whip over guard to the heart!
Wrists, all so supple and bloody,
Play a brave part!

Harry it home in the tierce!
(Hasten and harry!)
Serpents our swords are, to pierce.
(Close, gallants merry!)
Crouch -- ward -- a brave clash of steels.
Look you, he topples -- he reels!
Death beats tattoo with his heels!
(Huzza! Thrust and parry!)





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