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> Sir Henry Newbolt, Play up and play the game
Guest__*
post Nov 30 03, 13:29
Post #1





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This is very much Victorian and tales of the British Raj.
Not that we want to go back there, but it underlines the code of honour which was carried by every British schoolboy pre 1945.
Anything not quite ethical or honourable was referred to as  not cricket. Always supposing of course, that the schoolboy played cricket.

Most of us did.
We will continue to play the game, until the Big Umpire gives us out.

Vitai Lampada

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night -
Ten to make and the match to win -
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red, -
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; -
The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

This is the word that year by year
While in her place the School is set
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind -
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"



.
 
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Arnfinn
post Dec 2 03, 04:48
Post #2


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Member No.: 17
Real Name: John
Writer of: Poetry



How are ya doin Tom


I  looked in when I Saw Sir Henry Newbolt.

I had not read the poem before.

A very fine poem.

The last line in stanza.... I've heard many a time. ( quite famous)


Sad thing these days........we dont hear these chestnuts quoted very often.

These are the types of poems, you can read over and over, from time to time, and get the same enjoyment as the first day you read them.


Regards


John


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Arnfinn

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Guest__*
post Dec 2 03, 08:19
Post #3





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A splendid poem. It all seems very dated now, but the old fashioned virtues still shine through.
It also brings back many memories of cricket matches on warm sunny afternoons when Ashlarians would entertain Liverpool Institute in the old School grounds at Greenhill Road, while we lesser mortals watched our heroes striking out for the honour of the school.

The whole world should play cricket. It's much more than a ball game.

Jimmy Mac

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Guest_Jox_*
post Dec 2 03, 08:58
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Tom, Hi... please hold I'll be with you in a moment...

Jimmy Mac: Hello and a big, warm welcome to MM. I see you are one of Tom's locals (he hasn't many left now both Molly May and the Diddy Men have been evicted). Do you two know each other? This wouldn't be an establishment of The Empire of The Scouse would it by any chance, chuck? I'm sure with you two on board we'll have lots of Liver-ly discussions. You're most welcome and it's on down the Green Brick Road... err, sorry, Lime Street...

Tom, what spiffing fun!

The poem is evocative and has about it a similar story to Rolf Harris' "Two Little Boys" though without the sentimental yuk that features there. “River of Death” is a tad cliche, old bean - though it is the only point which is. Still, I don’t suppose Sir Henry will do a re-write now. I actually agree with Arn (from another colony who beats us at Cricket) this poem is re-readable several times.

You set me reminiscing to the days when a young Caruthers and I were boating at the old School. What a silly punt he was! I still remember him hanging onto that pole as the boat drifted away. Later I remember him hanging on to that spear as his life drifted away. Happy Times with The Queen's First Fascist Baboons. Still, those days are more than a century ago. Since then what have we done? Given the Empire back to the people! South Africa to racists, Zimbabwe to totalitarian dictators, Hong Kong to China. Even Ireland we gave to the Irish.

Ah, the days of The Empire! Who wouldn't gladly go out to kill a few of the locals if it was just an extension of the Great Game. Who wouldn't respond to the cry of "Advance, bayonets pointed" if Major Caruthers was right behind one. What a great day when the locals were all out for 300 (that's actually 600 natives murdered but they each only counted for 1/2 a Brit under the original Duckworth-Lewis method).

Gatling; now there's a name to conjure with! Splendid chap to have on one's side; jolly good egg indeed. Worth several times his weight in corpses, I'd think. Bit heavy on the old lead though what'ja say? I mean, it's not as if Johnny Enemy needs it all after he's popped his clogs. The Nazis had a better ideas; gas and production-line death. Still, that would be bad sport; not playing The Game. Don't forget though... the Nazis didn't invent everything - concentration camps are a British idea and we should be proud of it.

Yes, those were the days. But remember... The British Empire was buggered on the playing fields of Eton. (Bit off more than they could chew, don't ya know!) The largest empire the World has ever known but at this rate of shrinkage, next year it will stretch between Kirby and Birkenhead... so you two will be ok.  The rest of us will be in Greater Bushville (ruled from Baghdad by the US Administrator) with George W popping in on Thanksgiving Day to serve us cold turkey. If, however, we still want traditional British cooking then The British Raj is still with us: It's an Indian restaurant near Bristol.

Toodle Pip and run the Union flag up the jack mast afore ye leave if you’d be so kind: I'm afraid we're All Out for a Bombay Duck.

James.
 
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Guest_codger_*
post Jan 28 04, 14:36
Post #5





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Nice one tom--I remember it well, and cricket sun.gif  sun.gif

Gerry.
 
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