The City of Golf

Original Text: 
R. F. Murray, The Scarlet Gown: Being Verses by a St. Andrews Man, 2nd edn., intro. by Andrew Lang (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1909): 12-13. LE M9837sc Robarts Library
1Would you like to see a city given over,
2Soul and body, to a tyrannising game?
3If you would, there's little need to be a rover,
4For St. Andrews is the abject city's name.
5It is surely quite superfluous to mention,
6To a person who has been here half an hour,
7That Golf is what engrosses the attention
8Of the people, with an all-absorbing power.
9Rich and poor alike are smitten with the fever;
10Their business and religion is to play;
11And a man is scarcely deemed a true believer,
12Unless he goes at least a round a day.
13The city boasts an old and learned college,
14Where you'd think the leading industry was Greek;
15Even there the favoured instruments of knowledge
17All the natives and the residents are patrons
18Of this royal, ancient, irritating sport;
19All the old men, all the young men, maids and matrons --
20The universal populace, in short.
21In the morning, when the feeble light grows stronger,
22You may see the players going out in shoals;
23Ad when night forbids their playing any longer,
24They tell you how they did the different holes.
25Golf, golf, golf -- is all the story!
26In despair my overburdened spirit sinks,
27Till I wish that every golfer was in glory,
28And I pray the sea may overflow the links.
29One slender, struggling ray of consolation
30Sustains me, very feeble though it be:
31There are two who still escape infatuation,
32My friend M'Foozle's one, the other's me.
33As I write the words, M'Foozle enters blushing,
35This blow, so unexpected and so crushing,
36Is more than I am able to withstand.
37So now it but remains for me to die, sir.
38Stay! There is another course I may pursue --
39And perhaps upon the whole it would be wiser --
40I will yield to fate and be a golfer too!

Notes

16] cleek: an iron for hitting long distances. Back to Line
34] brassy: a wood club, less long off the tee than a driver. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1891
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2001
Rhyme: