Victor And Vanquished


    As one who long hath fled with panting breath
        Before his foe, bleeding and near to fall,
        I turn and set my back against the wall,
        And look thee in the face, triumphant Death,
    I call for aid, and no one answereth;
        I am alone with thee, who conquerest all;
        Yet me thy threatening form doth not appall,
        For thou art but a phantom and a wraith.
    Wounded and weak, sword broken at the hilt,
        With armor shattered, and without a shield,
        I stand unmoved; do with me what thou wilt;
    I can resist no more, but will not yield.
        This is no tournament where cowards tilt;
        The vanquished here is victor of the field.


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