Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1336. En Garde, Messieurs
By William Lindsey
EN GARDE, Messieurs, too long have I endured,
Too long with patience borne the world’s rebuff;
Now he who shoulders me shall find me rough;
The weakness of an easy soul is cured.
I ’ve shouted, leathern-lunged, when fame or gold        5
Were won by others, turned to aid my friend;—
Dull-pated ever,—but such follies end;
Only a fool’s content, and in the cold.
My doublet is in tatters, and my purse
Waves in the wind, light as my lady’s fan;        10
Only my sword is bright; with it I plan
To win success, or put my sword to nurse.
I wait no longer for the primal blow;
Henceforth my stroke is first, I give offense;
I claim no more an over-dainty sense,        15
I brook no blocking where I plan to go.
En garde, Messieurs! and if my hand is hard,
Remember I ’ve been buffeted at will;
I am a whit impatient, and ’t is ill
To cross a hungry dog, Messieurs, en garde.        20


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.