Norman Rowland Gale

1862-1942 / England

Golf Steals Our Youth

Have you seen the golfers airy
Prancing forth to their vagary,
Just as frisky in their gaiters
As a flock of Grecian Satyrs,
Looking everything heroic,
And magnificently stoic,
In a dress of such a pattern
As would fright the good God Saturn?

Have you heard them curse the sparrow
Fit to freeze your inmost marrow,
When the ball, that should be flitting,
On the grass remaineth sitting?
Have you watched their cheerful scrambles
In the soft and soothing brambles
While the foe, elate and sneering,
Passes gradually from hearing?

After blaming all the witches,
After rending holes in breeches,
After getting in a muddle
With each rivulet and puddle,
They return, a ll labour ended,
To record their prowess splendid,
And renew by dictionary
Their fatigued vocabulary.

Let these gentlemen ecstatic,
In their costumes so emphatic,
Crawl to find a rounded treasure
In the horse-pond at their pleasure.
What so good when time is sunny,
And the air as sweet as honey,
At the game of crease and wicket,
England's proper pastime--Cricket?
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