25th August 2019 -- Oxford versus Cambridge Croquet Match

Varsity Croquet 2019

By Alastair Paice - Captain of Croquet
With apologies to Tyrtaeus General of the Spartans

How glorious fall the valiant, with fewer wins,
In the varsity match for their sins !
And Oh ! what ills await the wretch that yielded,
An outcast from the team the college fielded !
The University surely will repossess his home,
And his President forces him forever far to roam;
His children shall weeping with him go,
And his young wife will participate in his woe,
By Camsoc scorned and scowled upon at every turn,
To win next year, how can we learn ?

No practice in the winter season ?
Surely that could be the reason,
To play for the other side it's simply treason,
Playing croquet throughout the year,
Yet lost again to Oxford, as we did fear,
We did not blush nor blame a single name,
To publish our team would put them all to shame,
As we did combat for our fathers' sake,
We even avoided playing into the lake,
To save the trophy fighting side by side,
We came so very close, yet lost our pride,
Despite our fear, and how high the cost,
Almost life itself the glorious battle lost

Passing hoops in vain to stem the unequal fight,
With nerves of steel, mallets raised with buoyant might;
Whilst lagging backward, we let the younger talent’s bright,
Swing the mallet and so we did trust,
To try to push ahead the combat's thrust,
But a Phoenix rising from the dust ?
Few points more and so we can barely,
Understand the rules to win by playing fairly,
Our Captain with the trophy at the end appears,
This hero, in his blooming years,
Must give away the cup, with regret and with womens' tears,
This sacred chalice for which we came from afar,
We fought in vain, in this everlasting war.