id1007-The Veteran Athlete

Written by WS   

To Be or Not To Be.

With acknowledgements to Bob Phillips,the N.U.T.S. & 'Track Stats'.



My years do rest content within my breast,

Work’s done and men may judge the worth

Of my own opened heart.

Yet one thing more I asketh of my frame;

That I may girdle the green sward again

With steps as light as wind upon fair April’s day.


The village green does bumble with such play

As makes men merry,and youth,as is its wont,

Is bound to sport itself for our enjoy.

‘Twas ere the way.Whilst wind is strong and grist

Do bend to man’s desire so shall the youthful lust

Display the natural lean.


See here,my aged racing heart doth dream

And make of me that youth again.

So I must join the group in which my years do lie

And vie with them,and strutteth stuff to such degree

That men shall see of it and all shall say;

This fellow makes a mockery of time.


Yet fifty winters now besiege my brow.

Aye,there’s the rub – and rub thee well

Lest stiffened sinew have its way

And transport of delight that is my dream

Would then be dashed and those same men shall say;

Forsooth,he aileth both in body and in mind.


Methinks that he who called once his kingdom for a horse

Had not the stomach for a race nor bred for noble deeds.

The game’s afoot,and aged men of England,some abed,

Would give a limb to share this treasured journey with

We few,we favoured few,who find content

In fanning nature’s faded flame.


My quill hath writ of man’s vainglorious state

And made a mark for players yet unborn.

But now my years do race at speed before mine eyes.

So swift dispatch,there shall be no neglected hour.

If life’s blood be stirred and raced anew,

Faith,this poet shall be poetry in motion.


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