poetry to stir the soul

Thanks to Tom Allan for this. It was buried in the last Bugle but surely deserves a wider airing

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Play up, play up…

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Vitai Lampada – Adapted for the Modern Era Bugle

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There’s a breathless hush in Gatting Way to-night
Eighty Four to make and four points to win
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and Alvin in.
And it’s not for the sake of a Gray Nicolls bat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But Philip’s hand on his shoulder pat
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’

The sand of Uxbridge is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling’s jammed and Gandolfini dead,
And the lower order blind with old Hadgie smoke.
The overseas quickie has brimmed his banks,
And Australia’s far, and Blake a name,
But the voice of Faisal rallies the ranks:
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’

This is the match that year by year,
While in her place Division One is set,
Every one of her teams must hear,
And none that plays it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a ball in game,
And falling fling to Shepherds Bush behind
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’

Sir Henry Newbolt and Thomas Allan

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Play well tomorrow gentlemen, play well