Sir Henry Newbolt

Bilston / England
Sir Henry Newbolt
Bilston / England
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Vitaï Lampada

Rating: 3.7
There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night—
Ten to make and the match to win—
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote
'Play up! play up! and play the game! '

The sand of the desert is sodden red,—
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; —
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
'Play up! play up! and play the game! '

This is the word that year by year,
While in her place the school is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind—
'Play up! play up! and play the game!
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COMMENTS
school man 04 December 2020
this is good and breathtaking tank yiu fot makin it =
1 0 Reply
Muhammad 22 November 2020
Served 20 years in Pakistan Army as Lt Col . This poem motivated us during Siachin war .
3 1 Reply
Abrar 22 November 2020
Great motivation
1 0 Reply
tony holt 14/7/20 14 September 2020
the poem is not racist it is of the time.it, s about honor and duty lacking in our society today. i served as a soldier in the british army with all ceeds and colours and i read it out before we went in to action in the falklands war and i can say we got a lot of comfort from it.i still think about it today race or colour dont matter to me it' the person i see.
2 0 Reply
Norman Pearson 02 September 2020
Sneered at by the Left, but those days made today, s England
2 0 Reply
M Roberts 21 August 2020
I can remember hearing my father recite this but I think only the first two verses. This must have been when I was at the most eleven years old. It used to make me cry I suspect because I was thinking about the soldiers who had died to make the sands sodden red. The last verse is a real anti climax.
1 1 Reply
Lt Col Sumant Khare 16 April 2020
I served in the Indian Army and later, in the corporate world. My father, also an Army Officer had read this poem to me when I was a cadet and it has remained with me to this day. Mind you, my father grew up in a village and was a teenager when the British were leaving India and not once did he think it to be racist or any such thing. For a moment, if one were to only pay attention to the message, I think it is quite meaningful and inspiring even today.
6 0 Reply
Douglas Winterborn 16 February 2020
These are the words of a Black Country man and may well be the motto of this great Black Country. Do thing for your fellow man (whether a team school or country) not for personal gain or fame! ! ! !
1 0 Reply
Jude P. 04 February 2020
I remember reading this poem in an English Literature class in the 1970s. The whole class found the combination of cricket and public school jingoism abso! utely hilarious. Then again, the class (myself included) was mainly female and we attended a comprehensive school where games were, for many of us, a form of weekly torture. I find it less amusing now and more distastefully jingoistic. Then again, I'm only part English and don't understand cricket.
3 4 Reply
Joe cave 14 January 2020
When I was 14 I was chosen to recite this poem on empire day in front of the whole school. 1954
2 0 Reply

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