With apologies to Tennyson as well as the bloglords and bloggers who do this better than I:
It little profits than an ace of aces
By this still mound, among these rosin bags
Match’d with a wily Chooch, I kick and pitch
Unhittable cutters unto savage batsmen
That swing and miss and curse and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will pitch
In these series: All strikezones I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on the mound, and when
Thro’ scuddling drifts in rainy Aprils
Vext the delays: I am become a name;
For always throwing with a callous curve
Many have I seen and known; stadiums of men
Ill-mannered, dugouts, bullpens, mound conferences,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delights of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of CBP.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is a series wherethro’
Gleams that untouche’d trophy whose glimmer fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to step out,
To scratch and spit, not to await my pitch!
As tho’ to throw all strikes! Strikes piled on strikes
Were all groundballs, and of hits on me
Few remain: but every inning is saved
From that eternal silence, painted corners,
A bringer of fastballs; and vile it were
For some three outs to pace and scowl myself,
And this grey jersey yearning in desire
To follow playoffs like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of Broad and Pattison.
This is my catcher, mine own Carlitos
To whom I leave the mit and the mound, -
Well-loved of me, discerning to sign
These signals, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged lineup, and thro soft glove
Subdue them to their dugout, heads down.
Most blameless is he, centered behind the plate
In padded duty, decent not to fail
With bat or glove, and pay
Meet adoration to our cheering fans,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the bank; the bell tolls her tale:
There glooms the dark, broad sky. My teammates,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me-
That ever with a frolic victory took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free swings, free bases – you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Lidge closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of CGSHO, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the stands:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Innings round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek our trophy back.
Push off, and driving toward the plate smite
The confounded batsmen; for my purpose holds
To win beyond this series, and the bats
Of all those baseball stars, until I die.
It may be that the Giants will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Cooper’s town,
And see the great Kalas whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides, and tho’
We are not now the sluggers which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weaker by age and injury, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.