Norman Rowland Gale

(1862-1942 / England)

Cricket on the Hearth


When red-nosed Winter takes the road,
An icicle his walking-stick,
When frost is on the woodman's load,
And snow is falling fast and thick,
Come, lusty youth and sapless eld,
Let's make a circle round the blaze
And talk of stumps,
Of nasty bumps,
That flew and came in sunny days.
For Cricket is played again, again,
At freezing time in Hull or Bath;
When summer's done the game's not gone--
There's Cricket on the Hearth!

Here's Jones from Rugby, Eton Jack,
And Grandpapa who, long ago,
Loved hitting when the Field was slack,
And crumped the bowling, swift or slow!
No more he's nimble on the green,
But what a history he tells
Of Surrey men
And hits for ten,
And heaps of most tremendous Swells!
For Cricket is played again, again,
At freezing time in Hull or Bath;
When summer's done the game's not gone--
There's Cricket on the Hearth!

The girls may call to Hide-and-Seek,
And lovely lasses take the floor;
But we discuss the Lob and Sneak,
The Canvas, Umpire, Over, Score!
How great a game to fill July,
May, June, and August with delights,
Yet in the frost
Be never lost,
But stir the blood on nipping nights!
For Cricket is played again, again,
At freezing times in Hull or Bath;
When summer's done the game's not gone--
There's Cricket on the Hearth!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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