The seventh of December, 2010: scorning eunuch sports

From ‘Cricket: An Heroic Poem’ (1744) by James Dance (1722-1774):

“Thy pleasures, Cricket! all his heart control;

Thy eager transports dwell upon his soul.

He weighs the well-turn’d bat’s experienced force

And guides the rapid ball’s impetuous course.”

Then there’s some great stuff about “puny Billiards” and the general inferiority of bowls and tennis:

“While the firm limb and strong-braced nerve are thine,

Scorn eunuch sports, to manlier games incline.”

Then it finishes:

“Nursed on thy [Britain’s] plains, first cricket learned to please,

And taught thy sons to slight inglorious ease.

While London, queen of cities! proudly vies,

And often grasps the well-disputed prize.”

Forgive this lapse into jingoistic zealotry, but Hurrah for England!

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