Ballade of the Royal Game of Golf

Original Text: 
The Poetical Works of Andrew Lang, ed. Mrs. Lang, 4 vols. (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1923): II, 73-74. British Library
3But ye mauna think driving is a',
5Ye may land in the sand or the sea;
7Tak' the word that an auld man 'll gie,
13And a lassie can putt -- ony she, --
14Be she Maggy, or Bessie, or Jean;
16Tak' aye tent to be up on the green!
18I hae play'd since the year thirty-three,
19I hae play'd in the rain and the snaw,
20And I trust I may play till I dee;
21And I tell ye the truth and nae lee,
22For I speak o' the thing I hae seen --
24Tak' aye tent to be up on the green!
25Prince, faith you're improving a wee,
26And, Lord, man! they tell me you're keen;
27Tak' the best o' advice that can be,
28Tak' aye tent to be up on the green!


1] ba': ball. Back to Line
2] burn: brook.
tee: place at which a golf hole begins. Back to Line
4] heel: hit with the back end of the club-head, nearest the golfer.
ajee: crookedly. Back to Line
6] preen: pin. Back to Line
8] "Always be sure to hit onto the putting green." Back to Line
9] auld: old.
crouse: crabby.
craw: crow. Back to Line
10] pawky and slee: artful and sly. Back to Line
11] ava': at all. Back to Line
12] girn: snarl.
gar: make. Back to Line
15] cleek: long iron club.
billy: fellow. Back to Line
17] thaw: melt. Back to Line
23] Tom Morris: early multiple Open champion (and greenskeeper) from St. Andrew's. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001