Saturday, October 06, 2007

England 700 Million, Australia Nil

If we are mark'd to die on this French field, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men like Wilkinson, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more than fifteen.
By Robinson, I am not covetous for the players in gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon the Flood of my cost;
It yearns me not if men my bloody garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not the back row men from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim Phil Vickery, through my host,
That which Tuqiri hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be stamped at the exit,
And crowns for convoy down under put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of St Sheridan.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe like Worsley when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the names of Shaw and Kay.
Bearded George that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Sheridan.'
Then Stevens will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Sheridan's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats Catt did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Easter and Sackey, Regan and Corry,
Moody and Gomarsall, Tait and Dallaglio-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Lewsey shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Sheridan's day.
Or at least, watched from afar with ale in our hands,
And shrinking disbelief in our hearts,
As we were vigilant upon the defeat of the men in gold,
And we shall proclaim this day,
As Triumph; Havoc, England and St. George.

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