Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Racing Rhymes
First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:
"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".
Below is one of eight poems featured within the Chivalry of Sport section of the collection.
You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.
by Colwyn Phillips
Have you felt the joy that
is almost fear
As you face the ditch and are two lengths clear,
And you hear the thunder of hoofs in rear?
There is just a second when you may see
Clear out what the consequence will be -
If you go too close or take off too far
Comes a rending crash and a sickening jar,
A futile arm that you raise to defend,
And the battering hoofs that bring the end.
You are stride for stride,
and you set your lip
As you urge with your heel and raise your whip,
And the moment he feels the whipcord sting
He leaps from the track with a glorious spring.
You hear the crash as the stout birch sunders,
And gain a length as your rival blunders.
The "Red Baron" was the allied nickname for German air ace Manfred von Richthofen, the leading ace of the war.
- Did you know?