Wednesday, June 23, 2004

a poem for England

As the question moves on from the undoubted ugliness of England players to the probability that they reflect the ugliness of the English as a whole, I now think that this whole thing has gone too far. I may snigger and snipe, but I am for all that an Englishman. So in advance of tomorrow’s game, an extract from a poem by our most famous bard.

That Rudyard Kipling – he’s fuckin’ mint!

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Come on England!

photos via those estimable anthropologists at Chavscum