THE CITY OF GOLF - James Joseph Sylvester Poems

 
 

Poems » james joseph sylvester » the city of golf

THE CITY OF GOLF

Would you like to see a city given over,
Soul and body, to a tyrannising game?
If you would, there's little need to be a rover,
For St. Andrews is the abject city's name.

It is surely quite superfluous to mention,
To a person who has been here half an hour,
That Golf is what engrosses the attention
Of the people, with an all-absorbing power.

Rich and poor alike are smitten with the fever;
Their business and religion is to play;
And a man is scarcely deemed a true believer,
Unless he goes at least a round a day.

The city boasts an old and learned college,
Where you'd think the leading industry was Greek;
Even there the favoured instruments of knowledge
Are a driver and a putter and a cleek.

All the natives and the residents are patrons
Of this royal, ancient, irritating sport;
All the old men, all the young men, maids and matrons --
The universal populace, in short.

In the morning, when the feeble light grows stronger,
You may see the players going out in shoals;
Ad when night forbids their playing any longer,
They tell you how they did the different holes.

Golf, golf, golf -- is all the story!
In despair my overburdened spirit sinks,
Till I wish that every golfer was in glory,
And I pray the sea may overflow the links.

One slender, struggling ray of consolation
Sustains me, very feeble though it be:
There are two who still escape infatuation,
My friend M'Foozle's one, the other's me.

As I write the words, M'Foozle enters blushing,
With a brassy and an iron in his hand  ....
This blow, so unexpected and so crushing,
Is more than I am able to withstand.

So now it but remains for me to die, sir.
Stay! There is another course I may pursue --
And perhaps upon the whole it would be wiser --
I will yield to fate and be a golfer too!