A Lay of the Links

Original Text: 
The Poems of Arthur Conan Doyle (1922; John Murray, 1928): 32-33. 21473.35.1 Widener Library Harvard University
1It's up and away from our work to-day,
5With the turf 'neath our tread and the blue overhead,
7There's the flag and the green, with the bunkers between --
9The doctor may come, and we'll teach him to know
11The soldier may come, and we'll promise to show
14    That at last he is high in his aims;
15And the clubman will stand with a club in his hand
19And it's good to feel the jar of the steel
23And the lie that might sting is a very small thing
25Come youth and come age, from the study or stage,
26    From Bar or from Bench -- high and low!
27A green you must use as a cure for the blues --
28    You drive them away as you go.
29We're outward bound on a long, long round,
30    And it's time to be up and away:
31If worry and sorrow come back with the morrow,
32    At least we'll be happy to-day.

Notes

2] down: rolling upland. Back to Line
3] gorse: a prickly shrub. Back to Line
4] bracken: fern. Back to Line
6] whin: gorse. Back to Line
8] be over or in: overshoot the green, or land in the hole. Back to Line
10] tannin: a pun -- untannined tea is green tea, tea without the slightly astringent tannin taste characteristic of black tea. Back to Line
12] hazards: in golf, sand bunkers, ponds, ditches, etc. Back to Line
13] tops every stroke: a topped stroke hits high on the ball and sends it skittering along the ground. Back to Line
16] St. James': a district in London renowned for its gentleman's clubs such as Brook's and the Carleton. Back to Line
17] the palm of the hand, and the leather of the golf-club's grip. Back to Line
18] driver's haft: the upper shaft of the wood-faced club for striking the ball long off the tee. Back to Line
20] hickory: a springy wood used before steel-shafted clubs. Back to Line
21] a clique: an in-crowd. Back to Line
22] cleek: mid-iron. Back to Line
24] lie: how the ball rests .Àæ good, as resting on top of the cropped grass; bad, as in a divot or beside a thick root. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Songs of Action (London: Smith, Elder, 1898). See Harold Locke, A Bibliographical Catalogue of the Writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Tunbridge Wells: D. Webster, 1928): 48.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2005
Rhyme: