Hopper appears before the footlights, but which also demands its publication at frequent intervals in the daily press.
I shall not undertake to determine as to whether the poem made Hopper great, or Hopper made the poem great. As a friend of Hopper, and an admirer of the poem, I am inclined to the opinion that each owes a good deal of popularity to the other. The poem as usually published consists of eight stanzas, beginning with the words: "There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place." As originally printed, however, it embraced thirteen stanzas, and in its perfect form, as written, was as follows:
CASEY AT THE BAT.
(A Ballad of the Republic. Sung in the Year 1888.)
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play;
And then, when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go, in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which "springs eternal in the human breast;"
They thought, If only Casey could but get a whack at that,
We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So, upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball,
And when the dust had lifted and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second, and Flynn a-huggin' third.
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell,
It rumbled through the valley; it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.