Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GLORIOUS TOUCHDOWN, by GEORGE ADE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE GLORIOUS TOUCHDOWN, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: When the crisp autumnal zephyrs whistle through the leafless trees
Last Line: By going into training — the result will be the same.
Subject(s): Athletes; Football; Sports; Track Athletics; Victory; Running Races; Pole Vaulting; Discus Throwing; Shot Putting; Running Hurdles

WHEN the crisp autumnal zephyrs whistle through the leafless trees;
When croquet is a sweet regret and tennis is non est;
When the baseball player stays indoors for fear that he will freeze
And the picnic trousers get a needed rest;
When Mackinaws and yellow shoes are packed away with care,
And the summer sash becomes a muffler gay,
Then the college football specialist emerges from his lair,
And buckles up his armor for the fray.

He rises up at 4 A.M. and runs ten miles or more;
A plunge in icy water then before he eats a bite;
He breakfasts on raw steak and toast, and quaffs a pint of gore,
And works with clubs and dumb-bells until night.
He dare not smoke a cigarette nor touch his meerschaum brown,
And every night at eight o'clock he tumbles into bed.
No more with boon companions does he paint the college town,
And fill the peaceful residents with dread.

But out of all these hardships and this abstinence unwilling,
There comes a day of triumph for the Rugby devotee,
When on the frozen battlefield, unheeding winds so chilling,
He scrimmages and tackles in the hope of victory.
What though he grinds his features to a pulp so raw and gory,
While the strong and beefy opponents are seated on his frame?
What though he never lives to tell his children of the story?
Though death comes with the victory, the team must win the game.

The college yell inspires him still, and though each bone is aching,
And though the hazy landscape swims before his blinded eyes,
The precious spheroid comes his way and through the rush line breaking,
He's down within the goal line, and the team has won the prize.
A ton or more of writhing flesh with him is mixed together,
His leg is wrapped around his neck, four teeth cannot be found;
But he has passed into the goal and hangs on to the leather;
He is the hero of the day — he's carried from the ground.

With proper care and nursing he will soon return to college;
A compound fracture of the leg, some cuts, a broken nose;
In the meantime he is not acquiring literary knowledge,
And the family physician to his bedside daily goes.
When he resumes his studies he'll recite each day at dinner,
All the more exciting features of the memorable game;
Next year, if he's recovered, he will make the team a winner
By going into training — the result will be the same.

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