Play up the game! not yours a football goal,
Not with a leathern ball for pay you fight,
Your goal is Freedom: Champion of the right
You play to keep the British Empire whole;
Wherefore with body under full control,
Nerves strong as iron, sinews braced and tight,
You join the game—with all the world in sight,
And losing life at least you win your soul.
Player of football! clear above the shame
Of thundering plaudits from a circling wall
Thunder of guns and cries of wounded come;
Your country bids you play a nobler game,
Forth to the front! tho’ Death the “time” may call,
Bright angel hosts shall cheer the victor home.
(The European War 1914-1915 Poems, p. 132)