The Umpire


I’m monarch of all I survey
There isn’t a ruler to-day,
Not a Sultan or Tsar
Of a country afar
Who can boast of a similar sway.
There’s always a something that checks them
No matter how great they may be.
They’ve got armies and such,
But their power’s not much
If you only compare ‘em with me.

For I’m the infallible umpire,
The strict, indispensable umpire,
And you’ve got to abide
By what I decide;
It isn’t a matter for doubt.
If you’re peer or you’re peasant,
You’ve got to look pleasant
And go when I tell you you’re out!
Out!
How’s that? Run along, sir, you’re out.

The swell from the swaggerest club,
The “rabbit,” who’s there as a sub.,
The veteran grey
(Who was good in his day),
The wholly incompetent cub,
The man who thinks cricket a business,
And the fellow who thinks it a spree,
I handle the lot,
And I show ‘em what’s what;
They all knuckle under to me.

For I’m the inflexible umpire,
The stern, incorruptible umpire;
I add to the woes
Of the bowler who throws,
When “No ball !“ I incessantly shout.
And batsmen pursue me
With looks that are gloomy,
When I beg to inform ‘em they’re out.
Out!
How’s that? Run along, sir, you’re out.

There once was a time when I played;
But those days won’t return, I’m afraid,
For alas, I must own
That I reached eighteen stone
And a quarter when last I was weighed.
I was once good at saving the single,
My limbs were so lissom and free,
But when bulkiness came
I abandoned the game
As a little too active for me.

And now I am simply the umpire,
The massive and dignified umpire,
My eyes are as keen
As they ever have been,
For your sight doesn’t fail though you’re stout.
If you’re leg before wicket,
Or caught when you snick it,
I see it, and tell you you’re out.
Out!
How’s that? Off you go, sir, you’re out !

P.G.Wodehouse (yes, again)

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