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Collected Poems

Footnote to Matthew X, 29

page 163

Footnote to Matthew X, 29

When playing from the first tee in a tournament at the Lochiel Club's links, Mr A. E. McDonald, of St. Andrew's Club, Hamilton, hit a sparrow on the wing. The bird was killed.

With trembling hands he tees his ball,
His only one — he risks his all;
He pulls his driver from the bag;
His spirits now begin to sag,
Recalling that a 10 had crowned
His struggles here the last time round.

His knees are knocking as he stands
And grips the club with desperate hands.
He breathes a prayer and drags it back,
Then lurches blindly forward … whack!
Great snakes! Now, who would dare predict
Such miracles as this? He's clicked!

Just at that moment, sad to say,
A sparrow flits across the way;
The ball flies straighter than an arrow
And strikes that God-forsaken sparrow,
Which (in defiance of Holy Writ)
Falls dead the moment that it's hit.
He stands and stares, in blank surprise —
'Come, Fate!' he yells, 'now do your worst:
I've got a birdie at the first!'