Brave Coward

Elisabeth imagines I've
A yellow streak
She deems I have no dash and drive,
Jest dogoned weak.
'A man should be a man,' says Liz
'Trade blow for blow.'
Poor kid! What my position is
She jest don't know.

She jest don't know my old man killed,
Yea, slew and slew.
As steamy blood he sweetly spilled,
So could I too.
And though no wrath of heart I show
When I see red,
I fear no S. O. B. but oh
Myself I dread.

Though fellers reckon me a dope
And trigger-shy,
'Tain't nice to dangle on a rope,
And like Pa die.
So as I belly to the bar
Meek is my breath . . .
No guts! --Don't needle me too far,
Elizabeth!

by Robert William Service

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