Strong and True

A man came boasting into town
He swaggered as he walked
One woman’s friends–they were obsessed
Of nothing else they talked.

O, brave he was, and strong and true
No doubt could e’er be named:
He was the greatest man of all
As ‘greatest’ he was famed.

“Among the men, perhaps!” she cried,
“How could he make that claim?
Of us I am the stronger one,
No woman’s truly ‘tame.’

“I’ll prove him wrong; I’ll show him up.
Then they can talk about
How quickly I demolished him–
I’ll challenge to a bout.”

A woman and a man, at odds.
The crowd had placed their bets,
But once the mighty brawl was o’er,
The gents were in distress.

In shock the poor and frazzled man
Sat trembling on the ground.
The woman teased and asked if he
Would like another round.

He clenched his teeth and took the jest–
I would not say in stride.
Up to this point his ego was
At least a mile wide.

This loss o’ercame him, overtook
His deepest sense of self.
Into despair his soul was thrust–
He must redeem himself.

He must defeat her, prove his worth,
Before his time to die.
Himself he could not live with, else.
Again, again he tried.

Again, again he faced defeat.
His jealousy, it grew.
How could this strong man lose a fight?
And to a woman, too!

One day his rival moved away
A far-off beach went she.
He never thought he’d have such luck–
How fortunate was he!

Though now strongest in the town,
With means again to brag,
Without his mortal enemy,
To fight became a drag.

He wondered why he missed her so,
‘Til hit as from above:
“Oh no,” he thought, “this cannot be–
I think that I’m in love!”

No medicine could cure him now,
No reason still his heart.
He knew at once he must away,
And after her depart.

He sailed across the ocean blue,
He could not stop to rest.
And more than fighting ever did,
This put him to the test.

He neared the shore and saw her there,
Just sparkling in the sun.
He swore he’d seen her face alight
When she first saw him come.

“Let’s race,” he said, nostalgic fool,
“To see once and for all.
O, who shall win the vict’ry cup,
And who shall drink the gall.”

She, (glad to see his spark return)
A cunning smile did give.
“The loser serve the victor’s needs
As long as she shall live.”

“You’re on,” he said, a cocky smile
Was racing ‘cross his lips.
Let’s see if e’en the strongest girl
Can beat the fastest ships.

“On three,” she said, then went straightway,
He cried, “That isn’t fair!”
Then rolled his eyes and started out
(It seemed she did not care).

He paddled faster, faster, no!
He would not let her win.
But she began to pull ahead,
And laughed as she swam in.

The strong, determined man did strain–
He would not let her win.
His boat was like a great white shark,
His oars were like the fins.

“I won! I won!” The brave man cried.
His boat, it touched the sand.
How jubilant the moment when
He felt the golden land.

The shore was silent as a grave,
His love did laugh no more.
He disembarked his ship to see
His boat had run her o’er.

He did defeat her, slew his love,
He wished that he could die.
He could not live without her near;
He curled up and he cried.

But suddenly the water churned,
His love was still alive!
She flipped the boat to trap him in;
Now his fate had arrived.

She sat atop the o’erturned boat.
She needed time to think.
She did not get down from said boat
‘Til it began to sink.

“All right,” she cried, and disembarked.
“I guess I love you too.”
She let him out and evermore
Their love was strong and true.