The Prize Fight

Fay Inchfawn

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"I am a boxer, who does not inflict blows on the air,
but I hit hard and straight at my own body." -- 1 Cor.
ix. 26 (WEYMOUTH'S Translation).

T'was breakfast time, and outside in
the street
The factory men went by with hurrying
And on the bridge, in dim December light,
The newsboys shouted of the great prize
Then, as I dished the bacon, and served
The porridge, all our youngsters gave
a shout.
The letter-box had clicked, and through
the din
The Picture News was suddenly pushed in.

John showed the lads the pictures, and
Just how the fight took place, and what
was gained
By that slim winner. Then, he looked at me
As I sat, busy, pouring out the tea:
"Your mother is a boxer, rightly styled.
She hits the air sometimes, though," and
John smiled.
"Yet she fights on." Young Jack, with
widened eyes
Said: "Dad, how soon will mother get a

We laughed. And yet it set me thinking,
I beat the air, because a neighbour's cow
Munched at our early cabbages, and ate
The lettuce up, and tramped my mignon-
And many a time I kicked against the
Because the little dog at number six
Disturbed my rest. And then, how cross
I got
When Jane seemed discontented with her
Until poor John in desperation said
He wearied of the theme -- and went to

And how I vexed myself that day, when he
Brought people unexpectedly for tea,
Because the table-cloth was old and
And not a single piece of cake remained.
And how my poor head ached! Because,
well there!
It uses lots of strength to beat the air!

"I am a boxer!" Here and now I pray
For grace to hit the self-life every day.
And when the old annoyance comes once
And the old temper rises sharp and sore,
I shall hit hard and straight, O Tender-
And read approval in Thy loving eyes.

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