[The sporting instinct is now so keen among girls that a man who gallantly moderates his hitting in mixed hockey is merely regarded as an incapable slacker by his fair opponents.]
When first I played hockey with Kitty,
I was right off my usual game,
For she looked so bewitchingly pretty
When straight for the circle she came;
As a rule I'm not backward, or chary,
Of hitting and harassing too,
But who can be rough with a fairy—
Not I—so I let her go through.
She scored, and we couldn't get equal;
The others all thought me a fool,
And Kitty herself, in the sequel,
Grew most unexpectedly cool.
They gave us a licking, as stated,
I was sick at the sight of the ball,
She thought me a lot over-rated,
And wondered they played me at all.
But she frankly approved Percy Waters,
Who uses his stick like a flail,
And always impartially slaughters
Both sexes, the strong and the frail;
A mutual friendliness followed,
I watched its career with dismay—
Next match-day my feelings I swallowed.
And hit in my orthodox way.