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The test cricket players

(for Jackie Hendriks) As unified as orchestra or choir Winging their craft up and ever higher These ballet-dancers of the bat and ball Are effortless to watch; they make it so. Of green-and-golden air in lunge and flight They weave long days with lissom limbs in white. What's an equestrienne, cox, ice-skater, Athletic regulars in field or hall, Beside these masters of the ebb and flow Of mind and muscle? Their fond game is slow Elegant ritual Now and later They advance across the world teaching all Testament of patience, gamut of will: Lithe men engrafting artistry on skill.

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