More Cricket Songs - Part 4

Part 4


The throstle in the lilac, Not far beyond the Nets, Upon a spray of purple His beak severely whets: He hears the players calling, He wonders what they're at, As thunder frequent Yorkers Against the stubborn bat.

And as the rank half-volley Its due quietus gets, The bird begins to carol A greeting to the Nets: Amazed at noisy kissing Of ball and wooden blade, In rivalry he whistles A ballad unafraid.

Right jocund is the music That, poured in lovely jets, Accompanies superbly The heroes in the Nets; And sweet the startled pauses Amid the royal song That come when shout together The drive-delighted throng.

The greatness of the uproar Benumbs him, and he lets His pulsing bosom ponder The tumult in the Nets; But soon afresh, while warbling His comment on the game, He puts all human songsters-- Quite easily!--to shame.

Thou Herrick in the lilac, The damp of evening wets Upon our shoes the pipeclay, And bids us leave the Nets; But come again to-morrow To mingle with our joy The magic learnt in Eden When Time was but a boy!


See in bronzing sunshine Twenty-two good fellows, Such as help the world along, Such as Cricket mellows!

Health and heartiness and joy Come to them for capture, Lucky lads, plucky lads, Relishing the rapture!

Watch the flying fieldsman, Keen to save the fourer, Gallop past the wooden box Sacred to the scorer!

Think you demi-G.o.ds of Greece Matched him in their story?

Lucky lad, plucky lad, Sprinting hard for glory!

Watch the hitting hero Loosely clad in flannel-- There's a figure to adorn Any sculptor's panel!

Every inch of him enjoys Sharing in the tussle, Lucky lad, plucky lad, Speed and grit and muscle!

See in bronzing sunshine Thousands of good fellows, Such as roll the world along, Such as Cricket mellows!

These shall keep the Motherland Safe amid her quarrels, Lucky lads, plucky lads, Trained to s.n.a.t.c.h at laurels!


Before the ap.r.o.ned nurse arrives, To tell of soap and tub and sponges, My nephew, fierce and ruddy, drives, Disgraceful edges, callous lunges.

Twenty auriculas declare The zeal of his peculiar magic, Till every aunt is in despair, And even Job (the cat) looks tragic.

Down goes a tulip's n.o.ble head!

(Poor Auntie Nell is nearly crying!) And now a stately stock is dead, And now a columbine is dying.

Vainly the cook with female lobs Desires to hit the egg-box wicket; And not among the housemaid's jobs-- 'Tis very plain--is garden cricket.

Whack on the bee-hive goes the ball!

"That's six!" screams Noel to the scorer.

A foxglove, steepled best of all, Now sinks beneath a flying fourer.

Two to the lad's-love; and beyond The lavender just half-a-dozen; And TWELVE for dropping in the pond A rank half-volley from his cousin!

To see my pinks give up the ghost Is what no longer can be suffered: Before I lose the scented host This game, like candles, must be snuffered.

Noel, at ninety-two, not out, Is carried to the nursery, screaming; And later with a precious pout Lies in his bed of down and dreaming.

There shall his Century be achieved, Larkspurs and tiger-lilies humbled, Geraniums of their fire bereaved, And calceolarias torn and tumbled.

With fairy craft from dusk to dawn Quaint Puck himself may bowl half-volleys, But I have vowed, by love and lawn, To weed one thistle from my follies!


As out of a cannon comes the ball!

Quickly it flies to the human wall.

Didn't it go with a will and a whiz?

How lovely it is! How lovely it is!

Four to the east, and four to the west!

Arrowy shots at the Umpire's chest!

Placid the sinewy batsman beams-- How easy it seems! How easy it seems

Watch! For a ball we could barely poke The master hand and the radiant stroke!

Glances and cuts and drives and hooks-- How easy it looks! How easy it looks!

Now is the time we may all forget Paper and books, for the Prince is set.

Here in the gra.s.s, with our work at heel, How happy we feel! How happy we feel!


Now why did Arthur pull out A sovereign with a happy shout And give it rashly to his scout, Who almost had a fit?

Why of a sudden did he fling A hard-boiled egg at Eustace Ling, Forgetting how an egg can sting The person who is. .h.i.t?

Why after dinner did he turn In fury on his room, and burn His old oak chairs with unconcern?-- A stupid thing to do!

And why so harshly did he pelt With forks a fresh and timorous Celt Afraid to utter what he felt?

_Arthur had got his Blue!_