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The Duel Analysis

Author: Poetry of Thomas Hardy Type: Poetry Views: 276

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"I am here to time, you see;

The glade is well-screened--eh?--against alarm;

Fit place to vindicate by my arm

The honour of my spotless wife,

Who scorns your libel upon her life

In boasting intimacy!

"'All hush-offerings you'll spurn,

My husband.Two must come; one only go,'

She said.'That he'll be you I know;

To faith like ours Heaven will be just,

And I shall abide in fullest trust

Your speedy glad return.'"

"Good.Here am also I;

And we'll proceed without more waste of words

To warm your cockpit.Of the swords

Take you your choice.I shall thereby

Feel that on me no blame can lie,

Whatever Fate accords."

So stripped they there, and fought,

And the swords clicked and scraped, and the onsets sped;

Till the husband fell; and his shirt was red

With streams from his heart's hot cistern.Nought

Could save him now; and the other, wrought

Maybe to pity, said:

"Why did you urge on this?

Your wife assured you; and 't had better been

That you had let things pass, serene

In confidence of long-tried bliss,

Holding there could be nought amiss

In what my words might mean."

Then, seeing nor ruth nor rage

Could move his foeman more--now Death's deaf thrall -

He wiped his steel, and, with a call

Like turtledove to dove, swift broke

Into the copse, where under an oak

His horse cropt, held by a page.

"All's over, Sweet," he cried

To the wife, thus guised; for the young page was she.

"'Tis as we hoped and said 't would be.

He never guessed . . . We mount and ride

To where our love can reign uneyed.

He's clay, and we are free."


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| Posted on 2013-08-21 | by a guest

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