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Poem by Robert William Service


Matador


Unless there is a lot of goring
I always find a bull-fight boring.

Lopez, the famous Mexican,
Was starring in Madrid,
And mobs acclaimed that mighty man
For daring deeds he did.
His tunic braid was primrose gold,
His pants were lily white,
As round the sanded ring he strolled,
A dazzle to the sight.

But haply in a thousand fights
A matador may slip;
With women, wine and hectic nights
His hand may lose its grip.
So as he dealt the lethal blow
The bull lunged out once more,
And Lopez, pride of Mexico
Was mingled with its gore.

A pretty maid from U.S.A.
Was sitting by my side,
And as they bore the man away
Right bitterly she cried.
She sobbed to see a Mexican
Who round the ringside struts,
Be carried forth, a dying man,
A horn-thrust in his guts.

'Twas sad to view―then suddenly
She laughed and laughed aloud;
Aye, she betrayed a wanton glee
Before that grieving crowd.
"I'm glad to see him killed!" she cried;
"ItТs such a devil's game!Ф . . .
Somehow I'd like to think she lied,
But I think just the same.

With skill and art their parts they play,
Six bulls are duly slain;
With dreary logic they display
The cruelty of Spain.
But still I go to bull-fights for
I hope I may be thrilled
To see another Matador
                      BE KILLED.



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Pullman Porter
  2. The Three Voices
  3. Mammy
  4. Young Mother
  5. The Missal Makers


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