There’s no arguing that idealism has its place;
If it does not flower, bloom, and spread its seeds
As the dying dandelion spreads its downy remnants hither and yon,
Then we have wept our tears and trodden in our funeral processions
In the pursuit of nothing more tangible than the wind itself.
That being said, my boys, we don’t live out our days
In some misty fairyland where the streams run with single-malt
And the trees are heavy with lamb and rashers.
The world can be a bitter, unpleasant place
Where the unconditional love of mankind is the province of Our Saviour alone,
And a man will kiss his wife goodbye, then give a swift kick
To a limping puppy sitting on the stoop,
Or the kindly veterinary will beat his missus
Upon returning from his local on a Friday night.
That’s the game as it’s played on this pitch,
And injury time has a whole new meaning here, lads;
Many’s the striker who’s carried off here with pennies over his eyes.
Again, we have no quibble with Locke, Voltaire, and the rights of man;
But know this—your leaflets will tear and blow away,
And the speeches that roll through Parliament and trade union halls
Like great thunderstorms blowing in from off the North Sea
Shall fade into the silent minutes to be bound and shelved away
In some corner of the vast library of the forgotten.
And though you shun the handwork of Messrs. Lee and Enfield,
Simpering that the rifle is the gavel of the coward,
That the garrote plays the music of the cretin,
Tell us where the bravery lies in writing crimson prose
In the warmth and safety of your rooms,
Or what dignity is gained by meekly dropping your gaze
In the face of the stares of the Black and Tans?
There is no valor in sighting down windmills.