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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Western · #470802
A poem of a shootout of the Old West.

With a fury of horses
They charged the town.
With a wild cry
They called him out.
In the old saloon
He put his drink down
And cried, "At noon,"
With a heavy shout.
Like a bell, the cries
Rang crisp and clear,
Like and echo of
Advancing tide.
During the exchange,
From far and near,
The woman heard the shouts,
And sighed.
One more man
To an early grave
In spite of fear,
In spite of doubt.
One more man
They couldn't save.
When noon came,
Both the men came out.
With heavy steps
They paced to ten.
Every breath was drawn
Throughout the town.
With a rapid turn
They drew, and then
In a blaze of guns
He shot him down.
He gave his final
Parting gasp
In the one instant
Before he died,
Like a prize was just
Beyond his grasp,
And the women turned their heads,
And cried.
One more grave
Dug six feet down.
One more ballad,
One less dawn.
In the pouring rain,
All of the town
Came, buried him,
Then carried on.

A traveler came
Upon a grave.
With curiosity,
He read
To see what poor
Excuse it gave.
And this is what
The epitaph said:
"He cried for every
Life he took,
He rode so proud,
He stood so tall.
He was a liar
And a crook -
He was the best man
Of us all."
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