Works in the Herald 1933

The football season opened today.

In ancient Rome, long since the home
   Of gladiatorial hero,
Who did his stunt to gain a grunt
   From callous coots like Nero,
When sporting blokes took as mere jokes
   A short sword thro' the vitals,
Adoring crowds with roaring loud
   Served them fame's full requitals.

But I would sing as Pindar sang,
   And tune my concertina
To chorusing of thundered slang
   That rocks the vast arena
When "Tear 'em down!" rings thro' the town,
   To mark glad hours of leisure --
"Eat 'em alive!"  And strong men strive
   To serve a people's pleasure.

In modern Spain brave coves may gain
   Great note by doing battle,
By cut and thrust, 'mid blood and dust,
   With agonised male cattle.
And if one's scorn of hoof and horn
   Should prove misplaced, why trouble?
Another comes to snatch the crumbs
   Of fame, and shouts "redouble."

But I would hymn a cleaner game,
   A safer road to glory,
As hard as any path to fame,
   Tho' hardly quite so gory.
When sounds the call of "On the ball!"
   As in the ages hazy
Stout heroes fight to prove their might
   And partisans go crazy.

Herald, 29 April 1933, p4

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2006