by: Edward Rowland Sill
- HIS I beheld,
or dreamed it in a dream:--
- There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
- And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
- A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
- Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
- Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
- A craven hung along the battle's edge,
- And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel--
- That blue blade that the king's son bears, -- but this
- Blunt thing--!" he snapped and flung it from his hand,
- And lowering crept away and left the field.
- Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
- And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
- Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
- And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout
- Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
- And saved a great cause that heroic day.
MORE POEMS BY EDWARD ROWLAND SILLS
"Opportunity" is reprinted
from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed.
Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.