The Duel


Now, Wellington and Winchilsea
Wait to fight a duel
A difference of opinion
Over papal rule
Seconds polished firearms
In the morning cool
And muzzled down
The pistol balls
With the wire wool

Late for his appointment
Winchilsea had to run
He tripped over a branch
And discharged his gun
The year was 1829 on March 21
A curt bow with apology
Probably would have done

The Earl
He fired into the air
The Duke
Fired to the ground
And honour
Was seen to be served
By all those around
Pistols at dawn
On Battersea Down
Just a silly argument
Over pope and crown

But the Duke
He looked too long
At the sky
As the ball descended
And the Earl
Was hit by the ricochet
And his life was ended
A peppered coat
A bent, cocade
But not a fatal shot
He slapped a man
Across the face
And this is what he got

The Duke's
A national hero
The Earl
Didn't want his blood
Seconds applied tourniquets
To stem the deadly flood
The Earl said
With his dying breath
As he lay down in the mud
I think I just shot
The prime minister
My Lord

The moral if there is one
As you step the paces ten
They used to do things
So differently back then
Now you can't shoot
The prime minister
Even by mistake
But still
There's a challenge
That I would like to make

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