Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LINE MEN, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE LINE MEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The full he may punt for fifty-odd
Last Line: Down in the muck of the line.
Subject(s): Football; Yale University


THE Full he may punt for fifty-odd,
The Half he may buck for five,
The Quarter's the brain behind every gain
And he keeps the team alive.
But when the tiers are a-rock with cheers,
And the air's like a nip o' wine,
Here's a toast to the souls who open the holes,
Down in the muck of the line.

Tense is the grimy crouching foe,
Tense is the straining crowd,
Trampled and torn is the turf below,
When the signal's bark cracks loud.
Here's an eye for an eye, and it's do or die!
Your bone and his bone must meet
In the crash on crash as the giants dash
To the goal of the foe's defeat.

The yards are twenty before the goal,
Each breath is a sobbing sigh,
And it's up to the Line Men to pay the toll
That lets the Half-back by.
Your teeth are set, but you're not gone yet,
Though your moleskin's a weight of lead,
For the yards must pass on the trampled grass
And the ball go ever ahead.

The yards are five with the goal behind;
So near -- but the line holds fast.
No place for a shirk for it's two men's work --
"Hold hard!" -- for the pace can't last.
Hand, tooth, and nail and it must avail,
As the crashing pile sways o'er.
And it's far from the top that the Line Men stop
Ere it's "Up!" and "Hold!" once more.

The Full has his hands outstretched afar,
The Ends they are widely spread;
Your men must be quick to block the kick,
And you must play with your head.
And with the roar that tells of the score
Your heart and soul are aflame.
Though the wild stands call for the man with the ball,
You played your part in the game.

The Full may punt for fifty-odd,
The Half he may buck for five,
The Quarter's the brain behind every gain
And he keeps the team alive.
But when the tiers are a-rock with cheers,
And the air's like a nip o'wine,
Here's a toast to the souls who open the holes,
Down in the muck of the line.





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net