When the Doctor pulls up as you pass in the street You know he will say:-- 'Well, Rogers, I hear that you suffered defeat-- How many to-day? Not a hundred, I fear; but you always do well, And doubtless you stuck?' It is hard to admit that you could not excel A 'duck.' For the bowling was easy, the wicket was true, And had it not been That you thought the slow trundler was guilty of _screw_ You had driven it clean! How galling to read in the _Sportsman_ next day-- What horrible luck!-- 'H. Rogers (the Captain) caught Grinstead, bowled May, A "duck."' But 'tis worse when your Uncle and sweet Cousin Bell Come over to watch All your wonderful deeds as a very great Swell-- The hope of the match! And Bell asks your score with a traitorous smile. More knowing than Puck; And you say (looking straight in her eyes all the while) A 'duck.' But when Fogson, your rival, makes Four after Four, And Three after Three, And next a grand drive, that adds six to his score, Right over the tree, Bell's eyes with excitement delightedly flash-- She praises his pluck! So you think that the worst of emphatical trash Is 'duck.'
Norman Rowland Gale’s other poems:
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