The Swashbuckler

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Squat-nosed and broad, of big and pompous port;
A tavern visage, apoplexy haunts,
All pimple-puffed: the Falstaff-like resort
Of fat debauchery, whose veined cheek flaunts
A flabby purple: rusty-spurred he stands
In rakehell boots and belt, and hanger that
Claps when, with greasy gauntlets on his hands,
He swaggers past in cloak and slouch-plumed hat.
Aggression marches armies in his words;
And in his oaths great deeds ride cap-à-pie;
His looks, his gestures breathe the breath of swords;
And in his carriage camp all wars to be:
With him, of battles there shall be no lack
While buxom wenches are and stoops of sack.

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