HeadworX
home   fiction   poetry   JAAM   broadsheet   events   links   contact  











From King Willow: Selected Poems by Robert J Pope

The All Blacks

Sound, trumpet and drum,
For the All Blacks have come,
   Bowed down 'neath their burden of glory;
They have put in the shade
Old Achilles, and laid
On the shelf all the heroes of story.

Neither England nor France
Could withstand their advance,
   Though 'gainst Newport they had a near squeak;
Old Ireland fought gamely,
Nor did Wales suffer tamely
   The process of eating the leek.

Nicholls, Nepia and Cooke
All played like a book,
   As did Parker, the Brownlies, none fleeter;
And more I could name
Who have just as much claim,
   Were it not for the bonds of my metre.

Yet it might be as well,
In case our heads swell,
   To remember a former mishap;
Let us not crow too loudly,
Or bear ourselves proudly.
   South Africa's still on the map.

Then here's to the boys
Who have made such a noise
   In all lands where the oval is kicked,
While they've burnished her fame,
They have guarded her name,
   And returned to New Zealand "unlicked."

© Robert J Pope























w3