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Poem by Norman Rowland Gale

Advice Gratis

    If lightning-like you send her down,
      And yet the batsman scores
    With here a One and there a Two,
      And then a brace of Fours;
    If calmly confident he stands,
      And makes the leather fly
    Past all your slips to dash against
      The boundary palings, why--
          Toss him down a slow, you see,
          He's sure to have a go, you see;
          And ten to one the trick is done
          By just a bit of brains, you see!

    If round the wicket, medium pace,
      Won't make the batsman budge,
    Take special note of what he likes,
      And all his weakness judge.
    Suppose he does the leg-glance well,
      Or drives her hot and high,
    Or runs to smother each good ball
      And pulls the short ones, why--
          Sling him in a grub, you see,
          A ripping, wicked grub, you see;
          And ten to one the trick is done
          By just a pinch of wit, you see!

    But if with equal craft he meets
      Your wiles, and does not blench;
    If ev'ry bowler in your team
      Desires the restful bench,
    And there he stands, the unsubdued,
      With dauntless front and eye,
    Prepared to smack your choicest balls
      To realms unheard-of, why--
          Don't ask my advice, you see,
          No, not at any price, you see;
          But ten to one the trick were done
          If I were in your team, you see!

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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