Ballad to Elijah

Elijah

He wore his football coat,

of colours white and red

A football was in his hands

a red cap on his head

For football he loved

never bothering with his bed


He walked amongst young men,

with an expression that was most grey

A red cap on his head

and his step seemed light and gay*

But I never saw a boy who looked

so wistfully at the day


I never saw a boy who looked

with such a wistful eye

Upon that oval of green

kicking the ball to the sky

A ball that went drifting to the clouds

up to the birds that flew by


He walked with a soul full of calm

a football song he would sing

And many wondering what the boy had done

a great or little thing

When a voice behind him whispered low,

“That fellow can indeed swing”


The crowds can be like prison walls

that can make him reel

Like a casque of burning steel

and though his body was in pain

The pain he could not feel


There was never such a boy

his humour was so bland

Many of the people would laugh

knowing his football talent was so grand

Why are you tarrying; go hence

Elijah’s football has been divinely planned


And this too, I know – and wise it were

if all could know the same

That every oval men build

they are built for men to tame

And his given talents that Christ can see

He rejoiced in Elijah’s glory when it came

By Grand-Dad

* ’gay’ here used, with the old fashion meaning i.e. happy.