An Ode to Rugby.
by NYRFC Old Boy / Vintage Whine Mr. Rory Barry of Donegal, Ireland

The whistle blew, the ball it flew,
high into the wintry sky.
Up leapt big Dan he was the man,
to stem what would ensue.
With the ball clutched tight, to his manly chest,
he hit the ground like thunder.
As they gathered round in frenzied sound,
bodies flying here and yonder.
The ruck it formed, with men that swarmed,
like angry bees protecting.
The ball was here, the ball was there,
yet no side it projecting.
To feed the speed, that stood outside,
awaiting to accept it,
And show their skills, with all its frills,
alas the ball lay dormant.
Another shrill and the game stood still,
the ref he made his judgment.
Scrum down, Green ball, there crashed a wall,
a mass of grinding manhood.
As they pushed and shoved the ball shot out,
to be cradled by the half back.
Who spun it wide, to his outside,
and the backs had joined the gambit.
With dashing speed and forceful wills,
the ball it moved wide yonder,
As crash on crash, each man did mash,
in to his opposite number.
It reached the wing, who then took off,
with the speed of an urgent cause.
As the line drew near he could hear the cheer,
a score it was, it was.
Mere yards to go he began to slow,
with the angle getting smaller.
When a blindside thud left him in the mud,
and he looked up dazed in wonder.
Where did that come from, as the mighty throng,
groaned in great dismay.
The ball rolled wide across the line,
which stemmed the tide of play.
The flag went up the lines were formed,
and the hooker now was master.
The ball held high, he let it fly,
with the ease of a trained fly caster.
Many twenty stones of blood flesh and bones,
soared like the mighty pine,
'Til one came down, not Green this time,
and now the game was prime.
Back up the field the other way,
the turf it churned around them.
As they rucked and mauled and pulled and hauled,
their fury still abounding.
Both teams they strove with endless pride,
to pierce each others defense,
As the shadows grew and the crowd anew,
kept wishing offense, offense.
The game was on with full intent,
and no side giving quarter.
They to and fro'd up down the field,
with bodies being the martyr.
In battle locked, the stadium rocked,
as the game unfurled before them.
They gave their all, big tall and small
and still no side could score then.
The steam it rose, and the air it froze,
and the evening sun declined.
With play on play, and move on move
each other far outshined.
Cut thrust, cut thrust, the day went on,
then almost at the whistle,
The tide it turned with rapid speed,
and we began to bristle.
With a shimmy sweet, on dancing feet,
I burst right through the middle.
And a move sublime I crossed the line,
and won the Crown for Ireland.
Then I woke up.