Was it my fault that I took part In a boxing bout? Was it my fault that it turned out Into a complete rout? Now all is done, why not jut out My broken jaw and carry A cavalier smile on my swollen lips; And why tarry To rave how I stood out on that boxing night, Like a huge promontory While all around me the blows crashed down Like sleet on an inclement night. So what I got a stinging right, I could take another; So what I got a black eye, I could bear another; So what I rolled and pitched With the ebb and flow Of stinging lefts and staggering rights, like arrows Out of a high strung bow. So what the ground rolled out beneath my feet, And I failed to rise; So what I lost the bout, I still got the best loser’s prize.
Note: The poem was written sometime in 1971 as a cadet at the Pakistan Naval Academy and was inspired by the inter-divisional boxing competition scheduled each term.