Punch, December 2, 1903


You came down the field like a shaft from a bow;
 The vision remains with me yet.
I hastened to check you: the sequel you know:
 Alas! we unluckily met.
You rushed at the ball, whirled your stick like a flail,
 And you hit with the vigour of two:
A knight in his armour had surely turned pale,
 If he had played hockey with you.

They gathered me up, and they took me to bed;
 They called for a doctor and lint:
With ice in a bag they enveloped my head;
 My arm they enclosed in a splint.
My ankles are swelled to a terrible size;
 My shins are a wonderful blue;
I have lain here a cripple, unable to rise,
 Since the day I played hockey with you.

Yet still, in the cloud hanging o’er me so black,
 A silvery lining I spy:
A man who’s unhappily laid on his back
 Can yet have a solace. May I?
An angel is woman in moments of pain,
 Sang Scott: clever poet, he knew:
It may, I perceive, be distinctly a gain
 To have fallen at hockey with you.

For if you’ll but nurse me (Come quickly, come now),
 If you’ll but administer balm,
And press at my bidding my feverish brow
 With a cool but affectionate palm;
If you’ll sit by my side, it is possible, quite,
 That I may be induced to review
With a feeling more nearly akin to delight
 The day I played hockey with you.




Unsigned verse as printed; credited to P. G. Wodehouse in the Index to Vol. 125 of Punch.