Marilyn at the bat

Casey At the Bat

Ernest Lawrence Thayer

It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville Nine that day
The score stood four to six with but an inning left to play
And so when Cooney died at first, and Burrows did the same
A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the game
A straggling few got up to go leaving there the rest
With that hope that springs eternal within the human breast
For they thought, if only Casey could get a whack at that
They'd put up even money with Casey at the bat

But Flynn preceded Casey and likewise so did Blake
And the former was a pudding and the latter was a fake
So on that stricken multitude a death-like silence sat
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat
But Flynn let drive a single to the wonderment of all
And the much despised Blakey tore the cover off the ball
And when the dust had lifted and they saw what had occurred
There was Blakey safe on second and Flynn a-huggin' third

Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell
It bounded from the mountaintop and rattled in the dell
It struck upon the hillside and rebounded on the flat
For Casey, mighty Casey was advancing to the bat
There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place
There was pride in Casey's bearing, a smile on Casey's face
And when responding to his cheers he lightly doffed his hat
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt
Ten thousand tongues applauded as he rubbed them on his shirt
And while the writhing pitcher dug the ball into his hip
Defiance gleamed from Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip
And now the leather-covered spheroid came hurtling through the air
But Casey stood a-watchin' it in haughty grandeur there
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped
"That hain't my style", said Casey. "Strike One!", the umpire said

Then from the bleachers black with people there rose a sullen roar
Like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore
"Kill him, kill the umpire!", shouted someone from the stands
And it's likely they'd have done it had not Casey raised his hand
With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey's visage shone
He stilled the rising tumult and bade the game go on.
He signaled to the pitcher and again the spheroid flew,
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" yelled the maddened thousands, and the echo answered "Fraud"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain
And they knew that Casey would not let that ball go by again
The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched with hate
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate
And now the pitcher holds the ball and now he lets it go
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright
The band is playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout
But there is no joy in Mudville, for Casey, mighty Casey has struck out

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