PAWING the earth, and snorting in his rage
The Bull is tossing up the torrid sand;
The while the horseman’s eye serene and bland
Seeks out a point for his red lance to gauge.
Steadied to take the charge, the fight to wage,
The picador holds his impatient stand;
His face, for all its blackness, whiter fanned
To anger as the bull obstructs the stage.
He hesitates; the Spaniard jeers at him;
He shakes his hornéd front; he tears the earth,
Heaving great breaths and straining every limb;
The taunter urges him to prove his worth;
Sudden he charges, fails, and bellows grim,
His shoulder bleeding, the great crowd in mirth!
Translation by Thomas Walsh.