...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

October 19, 2005

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Here's a classic American poem from 1888, which you all should know.

Casey At The Bat

by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that–
We'd put up even money now with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Johnnie safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped–
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted some one on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the sphereoid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville ― mighty Casey has struck out.

Go Astros!

Posted by annika, Oct. 19, 2005 | TrackBack (2)
Rubric: Poetry


Speaking of even money... both last week and the week before, I bet the moneyline on Northwestern to beat their big ten opponent. First Wisconsin, then Purdue, so, I've made a packet. This week they play MSU, and the odds are 3.5 to 1 on the moneyline. FYI, Penn State got lucky, and squeaked by Northwestern, but it takes time for attitudes to change, and the wildcats are still considered punks. Bet the moneyline, and laugh at the suckers later.

Posted by: Casca on Oct. 19, 2005

Hey, you didn't do a MNF pick this week...?

Posted by: Victor on Oct. 20, 2005

Pretty sweet for Bagwell and Biggio. Those guys both have over 2000 games with no appearance in the world series.

Posted by: Kyle N on Oct. 20, 2005

I never expected to feel pangs of guilt while reading a poem about baseball, but there's that line "...with a smile of Christian charity..." and I immediately thought of those people in Pakistan. I was quick to send money to Katrina victims, but I haven't done anything for those Pakistanis whose only crime was being born in such a screwed-up place. I haven't seen any blog responses either. I've finally managed to get a good job Annie, how should I help?

Posted by: Mark W on Oct. 20, 2005

prayer would be a good start.

Posted by: annika on Oct. 20, 2005

I think that she's already subliminally answered your question Mark... conversion by the sword would be the best thing for the heathens.

More importantly, what in the world are you doing wearing pirate boots with your dominatrix outfit?

Posted by: Casca on Oct. 20, 2005

Ignore Casca; he has the fashion sense of an engineer. I like the paper doll's Halloween costume, boots and all.

Posted by: Victor on Oct. 20, 2005

I'd do her.

Posted by: d-rod on Oct. 20, 2005

its just a cartoon, guys.

Posted by: annika on Oct. 20, 2005

We're pitiful, aren't we?

Posted by: Victor on Oct. 20, 2005

I'm with you on the Astros. And Go Bears!

Posted by: Hugo on Oct. 20, 2005

Thank you. I have wanted the words to that.

Posted by: Dave on Oct. 21, 2005

Posted by: Casca on Oct. 22, 2005