Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BALLADE OF THE OLDEST DUEL IN THE WORLD, by RICHARD THOMAS LE GALLIENNE



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BALLADE OF THE OLDEST DUEL IN THE WORLD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A battered swordsman, slashed and
Last Line: I fight you, darling, for your heart.


A BATTERED swordsman, slashed and scarred,
I scarce had thought to fight again,
But love of the old game dies hard,
So to't, my lady, if you're fain!
I'm scarce the mettle to refrain,
I'll ask no quarter from your art --
But what if we should both be slain!
I fight you, darling, for your heart.

I warn you, though, be on your guard,
Nor an old swordsman's craft disdain,
He jests at scars -- what saith the Bard?
Love's wounds are real, and fierce the pain;
If we should die of love, we twain!
You laugh -- en garde then -- so we start;
Cyrano-like, here's my refrain:
I fight you, darling, for your heart.

If compliments I interlard
'Twixt feint and lunge, you'll not complain:
Lacking your eyes, the night's un-starred,
The rose is beautiful in vain,
In vain smells sweet -- Rose-in-the-Brain,
Dizzying the world -- a touch! sweet smart! --
Only the envoi doth remain:
I fight you, darling, for your heart.

ENVOI

Princess, I'm yours; the rose-red rain
Pours from my side -- but see! I dart
Within your guard -- poor pretty stain!
I fight you, darling, for your heart.





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