Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - The Soldier's Game

"The Soldier's Game" by George U. Robins First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

Below is one of eight poems featured within the Chivalry of Sport section of the collection.

You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

The Soldier's Game
by George U. Robins

Pluck, endurance, submission to discipline, good temper, calmness, judgment, quickness of observation, self-control, are all qualities as essential in a good polo player as in a good soldier. - Badminton Library - Polo.

Here's a song of the game we play
Out on the burnt maidan,
Right from Poona to Mandalay,
"Trichy" to far Mooltan.

Sahib and Jemadar here may meet:
Victory's laurels rest
Still with the daring, bold, and fleet
Sons of the East or West.

Rules of precedence too we doff,
Etiquette's self is blind;
Subalterns ride their Colonel off,
Nor does the Colonel mind.

Here's a verse for the steeds we ride,
Never a swerve or flinch,
Hunter's strength with a racehorse stride,
Fourteen hands and an inch.

Arab, and Waler, and country-bred,
Chestnut, and brown, and bay,
Sloping shoulder and lean game head,
Built to gallop and stay.

Here's to the "one" who'll never shirk,
Doing the thing he's told.
Here's to the "three" who knows his work
Resolute, safe, and bold.

Here's to the "back's" unerring aim
Never a moment late.
Here's to the man who wins the game
Galloping hard and straight.

Blinding and dense the dust-clouds roll,
Little the horsemen mind,
Racing hard for the distant goal,
Thunder of hoofs behind;

On to the ball when the pace is quick,
Galloping all the way,
Stirrup to stirrup and stick to stick
God, what a game to play!

This is the law that mayn't be broke,
This is our chiefest pride;
Never a single selfish stroke,
Every man for the side.

This is the toast we love to drink,
Every night the same,
Bumpers all! and the glasses clink,
"Here's to the Soldier's Game!"

The financial cost of the war is said to have amounted to almost $38 billion for Germany alone; Britain spent $35 billion, France $24 billion, Russia $22 billion, USA $22 billion and Austria-Hungary $20 billion.  In total the war cost the Allies around $125 billion; the Central Powers $60 billion.

- Did you know?

Muse in Arms

Chivalry of Sport