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Horace Smith (Горацио Смит)


My Boating Song


I.

Oh this earth is a mineful of treasure,
A goblet, that's full to the brim,
And each man may take for his pleasure
The thing that's most pleasant to him;
Then let all, who are birds of my feather,
Throw heart and soul into my song;
Mark the time, pick it up all together,
And merrily row it along.

Hurrah, boys, or losing or winning,
Feel your stretchers and make the blades bend;
Hard on to it, catch the beginning,
And pull it clean through to the end.

II.

I'll admit 'tis delicious to plunge in
Clear pools, with their shadows at rest;
'Tis nimble to parry, or lunge in
Your foil at the enemy's chest;
'Tis rapture to take a man's wicket,
Or lash round to leg for a four;
But somehow the glories of cricket
Depend on the state of the score.

But in boating, or losing or winning,
Though victory may not attend;
Oh, 'tis jolly to catch the beginning,
And pull it clean through to the end.

III.

'Tis brave over hill and dale sweeping,
To be in at the death of the fox;
Or to whip, where the salmon are leaping,
The river that roars o'er the rocks;
'Tis prime to bring down the cock pheasant;
And yachting is certainly great;
But, beyond all expression, 'tis pleasant
To row in a rattling good eight.

Then, hurrah, boys, or losing or winning,
What matter what labour we spend?
Hard on to it, catch the beginning,
And pull it clean through to the end.

IV.

Shove her off! Half a stroke! Now, get ready!
Five seconds! Four, three, two, one, gun!
Well started! Well rowed! Keep her steady!
You'll want all your wind e'er you've done.
Now you're straight! Let the pace become swifter!
Roll the wash to the left and the right!
Pick it up all together, and lift her,
As though she would bound out of sight!

Hurrah, Hall! Hall, now you're winning,
Feel your stretchers and make the blades bend;
Hard on to it, catch the beginning,
And pull it clean through to the end.

V.

Bump! Bump! O ye gods, how I pity
The ears those sweet sounds never heard;
More tuneful than loveliest ditty
E'er poured from the throat of a bird.
There's a prize for each honest endeavour,
But none for the man who's a shirk;
And the pluck that we've showed on the river,
Shall tell in the rest of our work.

At the last, whether losing or winning,
This thought with all memories blend,--
We forgot not to catch the beginning,
And we pulled it clean through to the end. 



Horace Smith's other poems:
  1. On Circuit
  2. At the Tavern
  3. To a Scientific Friend
  4. Young England
  5. The Curate to His Slippers


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