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A poem by A. A. Milne

The First Game

Title:     The First Game
Author: A. A. Milne [More Titles by Milne]

There comes a Day (I can hear it coming),
One of those glorious deep blue days,
When larks are singing and bees are humming,
And Earth gives voice in a thousand ways--
Then I, my friends, I too shall sing,
And hum a foolish little thing,
And whistle like (but not too like) a blackbird in the Spring.

There looms a Day (I can feel it looming;
Yes, it will be in a month or less),
When all the flowers in the world are blooming
And Nature flutters her fairest dress--
Then I, my friends, I too shall wear
A blazer that will make them stare,
And brush--this is official: I shall also brush my hair.

It is the day that I watch for yearly,
Never before has it come so late;
But now I've only a month--no, merely
A couple of fortnights left to wait;
And then (to make the matter plain)
I hold--at last!--a bat again:
Dear Hobbs! the weeks this summer--think! the _weeks_
I've lived in vain!

I see already the first ball twisting
Over the green as I take my stand,
I hear already long-on insisting
It wasn't a chance that came to hand--
Or no; I see it miss the bat
And strike me on the knee, whereat
Some fool, some silly fool at point, says blandly,
"How was that?"

Then, scouting later, I hold a hot-un
At deep square-leg from the local Fry,
And at short mid-on to the village Scotton
I snap a skimmer some six foot high--
Or else, perhaps, I get the ball,
Upon the thumb, or not at all,
Or right into the hands, and then, lorblessme, let it fall.

But what care I? It's the game that calls me--
Simply to be on the field of play;
How can it matter what fate befalls me,
With ten good fellows and one good day?
... But still,
I rather hope spectators will,
Observing any lack or skill,
Remark, "This is his first appearance." Yes, I _hope_ they will.

[The end]
A. A. Milne's short story: The First Game