The Football Match

Original Text: 
Canadian Songs and Poems, ed. William Douw Lighthall (London: Walter Scott, 1892), pp. 209-10. PS 8279 L5 Robarts Library.
3The tearing of tangled trousers, the jut of giant calves protuberant.
4The wriggleness, the wormlike, snaky movement and life of it;
5The insertion of strong men in the mud, the wallowing, the stamping with thick shoes;
8The bleeding noses, the shins, the knuckles abraded:
9That's the way to make men! Go it, you border ruffians, I like ye.
II.
10Only two sorts of men are any good, I wouldn't give a cotton hat for no other --
13Are all right. I must have a fighter, a bully, somewhat of a desperado;
14Of course, I prefer them raw, uneducated, unspoiled by book rot;
16Have been uneducated to an undemocratic and feudal-aristocratic extent;
17Lord! how they can kick, though! Another man slugged there!
III.
18Unnumbered festoons of pretty Canadian girls, I salute you;
19Howl away, you non-playing encouragers of the kickers!
20Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, M'Gill!
21Rah, Rah, Rah, Sis, Boom, Toronto! Lusty-throated give it!
23This is worth coming twenty miles to see. Personally, I haven't had so much fun since I was vaccinated.
25Pure physical glow and exultation this of abundantest muscle:
IV.
27O, the kicking, stamping, punching, the gore and the glory of battle!
28Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick. Will you kick!
29You kickers, scoop up the mud, steam plough the field,
30Fall all over yourselves, squirm out! Look at that pile-driver of a full-back there!
31Run, leg it, hang on to the ball; say, you big chump, don't you kill that little chap
32When you are about it.
33Well, I'd like to know what a touch down is, then? Draw?
34Where's your draw?

Notes

1] jaculatory: thrown. Back to Line
2] thews: muscles. Back to Line
6] élan: spirit (French)--the McGill team comes fromQuebec. Back to Line
7] red legs: a reference to the team name and uniform colour of the McGillRedmen football team. Back to Line
11] Plug Ugly: roughneck. Back to Line
12] M'Gill and Toronto: McGill University (Montreal) andUniversity of Toronto. Back to Line
15] Kickapoos: native Indian tribe. Back to Line
22] shindy: shindig, uproar.
the boss: the tops, what "takes the cake.". Back to Line
24] plesiosauri: Mesozoic paddle-limbed reptiles. Back to Line
26] John Sullivan: John Lawrence Sullivan, US boxer (1858-1918). Back to Line
35] Yer lie!: You are a liar! Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: