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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

In the Harbor

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.