Play The Game Poem by Jessie Pope

Play The Game

Rating: 3.1

Twenty-Two stalwarts in stripes and shorts
Kicking a ball along,
Set in a square of leather-lunged sports
Twenty-two thousand strong,
Some of them shabby, some of them spruce,
Savagely clamorous all,
Hurling endearments, advice or abuse,
At the muscular boys on the ball.

Stark and stiff 'neath a stranger's sky
A few hundred miles away,
War-worn, khaki-clad figures lie,
Their faces rigid and grey
Stagger and drop where the bullets swarm,
Where the shrapnel is bursting loud,
Die, to keep England safe and warm
For a vigorous football crowd !

Football's a sport, and a rare sport too,
Don't make it a source of shame.
To-day there are worthier things to do.
Englishmen, play the game!
A truce to the League, a truce to the Cup,
Get to work with a gun,
When our country's at war we must all back up
It's the only thing to be done!

Edward Kofi Louis 01 December 2015

Nice work with the muse of a game. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

1 2 Reply
Rajnish Manga 01 December 2015

An awesome tribute to the game of football, The English people and the soldiers who are always on their toes- ready to sacrifice their lives to ensure safety and security of their country. Thanks.

1 2 Reply
Kinyua Karanja 01 December 2015

It's a nationalistic and patriotic arousing poem, specifically addressing our less regarded heroes soldiers and footballers who all acclaims respect and pride of our nations, great.

1 1 Reply
Kim Barney 01 December 2015

When she says PLAY THE GAME, she's really saying COME JOIN THE ARMY! It's a call to war, not to a game of football.

2 0 Reply
Sarah Shahzad 11 January 2020

wow this one is awesome..! you wrote really amazingly... thanks for sharing :) pleez do comment/ review/ write your thoughts on my website & poems 2 thank you :)

0 0 Reply
cory. W 06 February 2018

she used propaganda to make war seem like a game witch is a very sick thing to do

4 1 Reply
cory. W 06 February 2018

war really is not something to call a game and make it sound fun: (

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ted hughes 06 December 2017

amazing i felt a tear go down my face

1 6 Reply
Curtis Johnson 01 December 2015

In peace or war, such words never more worthy to be said and heard.

1 4 Reply
Susan Williams 01 December 2015

Football and war the topics of one poem. Let me ponder the vagaries of man that they appear in the same poem together

22 2 Reply
Jessie Pope

Jessie Pope

Leicestershire, England
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