Thursday, 25 January 2018

Burns' Winter Net

In 1786 the first instance of a dismissal for hitting the ball twice was recorded.  A subject that eminent cricket poet Robert Burns chose to ignore.  Instead, he wrote Winter Night.  The published version bears little resemblance to the original manuscript now recovered by FB and which reports the winter torment cricketers have faced through the ages.
Burns in the snow -
musing on winter nets

When biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
The crick’ter’s year is langsyne o’er
He whiles regrets
Then maun the frozen chiel endure
Thon winter nets

Like Odysseus in the Iliad
The coach doth call his myriad
Groaning seniors and keen young lads
No one forgets
To scour each press tae find their pads
For winter nets

In a drafty schoolhouse gym
Peers Fant’sy Bob through darkness dim
Saft muscles bruised on ilka limb
Face mortal threats
Whan junior quickies bowl at him
In winter nets

Has Fant’sy Bob lost a’ his reason
See him bowl he’ll na stop wheezin
See him bat ye’d think he’s bleezin
They're makin' bets
He'll hit it yet afore the season
At winter nets

Lord can ye hear oor lamentation
Cruel hibernal tribulation
Tholin' winter nets' privation
Nothing drearer
There’s but one sma' consolation
Summer’s nearer


  1. I look forward to FB's rendering of A Third Man's a Man For A'That, in due course.