CASEY AT THE BAT.
As recited by Mr. De Wolf Hopper.
There was ease In Casey's manner as he stepped into his place,
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face;
And when responding to the 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,
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling thro' the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there;
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped"That ain't my style, " said Casey, "strike one, " the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of storm waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Kill him! kill the umpire!" shouted some one on the stand,
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone,
He stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew,
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "strike two,"
"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud!
But the 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 wouldn't let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clinched in 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 Boston-mighty Casey has struck out.