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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Edward Cracroft Lefroy b. 1855

A Football-Player

IF I could paint you, friend, as you stand there,

Guard of the goal, defensive, open-eyed,

Watching the tortured bladder slide and glide

Under the twinkling feet; arms bare, head bare,

The breeze a-tremble through crow-tufts of hair;

Red-brown in face, and ruddier having spied

A wily foeman breaking from the side,

Aware of him,—of all else unaware:

If I could limn you, as you leap and fling

Your weight against his passage, like a wall;

Clutch him, and collar him, and rudely cling

For one brief moment till he falls—you fall:

My sketch would have what Art can never give—

Sinew and breath and body; it would live.