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The Foe

High on the mountain tops
Overlooking the seas,
With his hand to his head,
Peering over the trees,

Was a dastardly soul,
The greatest of Foes;
He stood eight feet tall
From his head to his toes.

The club o'er his shoulder,
Was rugged and cold;
Killing men by the dozen,
From cowards to bold.

The townspeople hollered,
They cried and they wept;
The warriors remaining
Were weak and inept.

No one left alive
Would challenge the Foe,
Put a stop to his tyranny,
And end status quo.

When all of a sudden,
From out of the blue,
A bright knight in armor,
Emerged into view.

His battle cry sounded,
His sword brightly glistened;
To the townspeople's pleas,
He patiently listened.

Then, raising his hand,
He announced his decree,
"You'll be rid of this menace,
Just leave it to me!"

His mount reared up high,
To a valiant pose,
Then galloped away,
As fast as wind blows.

The Foe stood on high,
Awaiting the knight,
Whose fool of a challenge
Brought him utter delight.

"I'll kill the foul rascal,"
He said with a grin,
"And drag his dead corpse
Through the town of his kin."

Then high on the mountain tops,
Where the Foe laid in wait,
The knight threw his gauntlet
At the Foe and his hate.

"I've come for you, Foe!"
The knight said to his prey,
"Say goodbye to this world,
For here you'll not stay!"

The Foe merely chuckled,
And swelled himself high;
Though the knight was on horseback,
They stood eye to eye.

"Begone with you, knight!"
The Foe fiercely hissed;
He flung a short mace,
But it just barely missed.

The knight drew his sword,
And positioned his lance;
His horse thumped his hooves,
While the Foe took his stance.

Abruptly, the horse
Flew into a trot,
Then canter, then gallop,
For stop he would not.

The Foe stood there waiting,
Club raised o'er his head;
The knight kept on coming,
Their wills strong as lead.

High on the mountain tops,
Silhouettes in the sky,
The Foe and the knight
Fought to live or to die.

Back in the village,
The townsfolk exclaimed,
As the knight and the Foe
Were beaten and maimed.

Not a one there could think
Quite when there had been
A more horrid battle
That neither could win.

Finally, at dusk,
The pair fell from view,
The villagers wondered
What became of the two.

Question unanswered,
Night fell to dawn;
Had their brave hero
Won, lost, or drawn?

From that dark day forward,
The duelling pair
Were ne'er to be seen
By anyone there.

The Foe did not come
Anymore after that
To pillage their homes
And, off them, grow fat.

Yet nor did the knight
E'er return to the town;
He would have been welcome,
E'en given the crown.

Some said that he died,
Still others would strive
To differ with them,
Saying he was alive.

"I heard his great horse,
Gallop over the plain;
He whinneyed and snorted
As the knight held his mane."

"He's off to the rescue,"
They'd assert sounding sure,
"Of another poor town
With Foes at its door."

Debates were unleashed
'Twixt man and his brother,
But no one could prove
One way or the other.

Samuel Stoddard


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