If ever there was a Golden Game
To brace the nerves, to cure repining,
To put the Dumps to flight and shame,
It’s Cricket when the sun is shining!
Gentlemen, toss the foolscap by,
Gentlemen, change from books to leather!
Breathe your fill of the breeze from the hill,
Thanking Bliss for the great blue weather.
If ever there was a bag could beat
The box possessed by Miss Pandora,
’Tis that in which there cuddle neat
The tools to shape the flying Fourer.
Gentlemen, watch the purple ball!
Gentlemen, keep your wits in tether!
Take your joy with the heart of a boy
Under the dome of the big blue weather.
If ever I feel my veins abound
With zealous blood more fit for Twenty,
’Tis when upon the shaven ground
Fair Fortune gives me runs in plenty.
Gentlemen all, while sinews last,
Bat ye, bowl ye, friends together!
Play the play till the end of your day,
Mellowest mates in the big blue weather!
But ever the ancient tale is told,
And History (the jade!) repeated:
By Time, who’s never over-bowled,
At last we find ourselves defeated.
Gentlemen all, though stiff we be,
Youth comes along in finest feather,
Just as keen as we all have been
Out on the turf in the great blue weather!
There’s ever the deathless solace
To gaze at younger heroes smiting,
Of neither grit nor hope bereft,
Up to the end for victory fighting.
Gentlemen all, we taste delight,
Banished now from the stream and heather,
Calm and cool on an old camp-stool,
Watching the game in the big blue weather!
THE FEMALE BOY.
If cursed by a son who declined to play
(Supposing him sound and sufficient in thews,)
I’d larrup him well with the third of a wicket,
Selecting safe parts of his body to bruise.
In his mind such an urchin King Solomon had
When he said, Spare the stump, and you bungle the lad!
For what in the world is the use of a
All flabbily bent on avoiding the Pitch?
Who wanders about, with a sob in each feature,
Devising a headache, inventing a stitch?
There surely would be a quick end to my joy
If possessed of that monster—the feminine boy!—
The feminine boy who declines upon croquet,
Or halma, or spillikins (horrible sport!),
Or any amusement that’s female and pokey,
And flatly objects to behave as he ought!
I know him of old. He is lazy and fat,
Instead of this Thing, fit for punishment drastic,
Give, Fortune, a son who is nimble and keen;
A bright-hearted sample of human elastic,
As fast as an antelope, supple and clean;
Far other than he in whose dimples there lodge
Significant signs of inordinate stodge.