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Blood Feud


Once, when my husband was a child, there came

To his father's table, one who called him kin,

In sunbleached corduroys paler than his skin.

His look was grave and kind; he bore the name

Of the dead singer of Senlac, and his smile.

Shyly and courteously he smiled and spoke;

"I've been in the laurel since the winter broke;

Four months, I reckon; yes, sir, quite a while."


He'd killed a score of foemen in the past,

In some blood feud, a dark and monstrous thing;

To him it seemed his duty. At the last

His enemies found him by a forest spring,

Which, as he died, lay bright beneath his head,

A silver shield that slowly turned to red.


Elinor Wylie




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