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Poem by Norman Rowland Gale

The Olympians

  Let those who will believe the Gods
    On high Olympus do not travel
  Along the lane that Progress plods,
    The tricks of mortals to unravel:
  Let them believe who will they shun
    The average of C.B. Fry,
  Or never from their lilied park
    A little nearer Clifton run
  To watch with joy the crimson lark
    By Jessop bullied to the sky.

  They love the Game. So warm they glow,
    Not seldom rise imperial quarrels;
  And not so many moons ago
    Jove boxed with zeal Apollo's laurels.
  The question ran, Was Arthur Mold
    Unfairly stigmatised by muffs,
  Or did he play a dubious prank?
    Venus herself began to scold,
  And Gods by dozens on a bank
    Profanely took to fisticuffs!

  When on the level mead of Hove
    Elastic-sided Ranjitsinhji
  With bowlers neatly juggles, Jove
    Of clapping palms is never stingy.
  Ambrosia stands neglected; wine
    To crack the skull of Hector spills
  While Lockwood cudgels brawn and brain;
    And when the Prince leaves ninety-nine,
  The cheers go valleywards like rain,
    And hip-hurrah among the hills!

  Prone on the lawn in merry mobs,
    They note the polished art of Trumper,
  The Surrey Lobster bowling lobs,
    The anxious wriggles of the Stumper.
  'Tis not (believe me) theirs to sneer
    At what the modern mortal loves,
  But theirs to copy noble sport;
    And radiant hawkers every year
  Do splendid trade in bats and gloves
    With Jupiter and all his Court!

Norman Rowland Gale

Norman Rowland Gale's other poems:
  1. Quinquaginta Annos Natus
  2. Out
  3. Chuck Her Up
  4. England v. Australia
  5. A Boundary

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