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The Soul Purger

From the Evening Public Ledger, May 29, 1915. By Grantland Rice.

Two out—and the bases full—
    Three runs to win and two to tie;
And then, amid the boding lull,
    Looms Crawford of the batting eye;
I watch the pitcher writhe and whirl
    And shoot one from his mounded pen—
I see the white pill dart and curl
    As Crawford’s bludgeon swings—and then—

In that one moment through the stands
    There runs—before the groans and cheers—
The taut grip of ten thousand hands—
    The pulse leap of a thousand years;
The one great throbbing human call
    Above all science, war or love,
As crashing bat meets speeding ball
    Or speeding ball meets waiting glove.

Here end the sorrows of the race—
    All want and wretchedness and crime;
Where Care must seek another place—
    Where Sin must bide another time;
Here where the heart’s wiped clean and dry—
    The drudge soul lifted from the pit
For those who wait for the reply—
    A strike-out—or a two-base hit?

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