Charles Harper Webb

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Gil, the Toreador


THE QUEEN sat in her balcony,
The Loveliest of Spain;
Beneath rode all the chivalry,
And roses fell like rain
To crown the gallant gentlemen
The gonfalon who bore:
A woman’s favor fell for one,—
Gil, the Toreador.

Beneath the royal canopy,
To see the red bull slain,
They sat, like loyal lovers,
The King and Queen of Spain.
Came marshal, noble, knight and squire,
Chulo and picador:
Of all a woman saw but one,—
Gil, the Toreador.

The trumpets clanged, the sport was on,
The royal sport of Spain;
Maddened by shouts and thrust of lance
The bull now charged amain:
Down to their death went chulos then,
And many a matador:—
A woman only knew there fell
Gil, the Toreador.

When through the streets of proud Madrid
Swept next the courtly train,
Sat not upon her balcony
The Loveliest of Spain.
Long live the King and his fair Queen,
Still loyal thousands roar:—
None know what woman died when fell
Gil, the Toreador.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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