Golf Poem: A Song Of Four Seasons

golf poem

I found this wonderful golf poem in an 1898 issue of Golf Magazine:

A Song of Four Seasons

Francis Bowler Keene

When Spring comes smiling
By greens and tees,
All life beguiling
With Balmy breeze;

Sing heart exulting,
Sing golf once more,
Sing game that’s ragged,
And duffer’s score

When beams the Summer
And skies are blue,
When Songsters warble,
The long days through;

Sing links are lovely
Sing games galore,
Sing matches many
And health full store.

When Autumn rustles,
With woods aglow,
And days are waning
And blossoms go;

Sing season passing,
And slanting sun
Sing sport surpassing
And trophies won.

When blasts of Winter
Strip bare the trees,
In white shroud buried
Are greens and tees;

Sing lazy lolling
By club fire bright?
Sing red balls rolling;
Sing rare delight


Francis Bowler Keene (1856 – 1945) was a Wisconsin State legislator and diplomat with the US State department who served in various capacities in Italy and Switzerland from 1903 – 1924. Fluent in French, German and Italian, Keene was able to help many Americans who had been stranded in Europe during the First World War. He was a graduate of  Racine College and Harvard, where he was on the 1800 varsity track team.

Keene’s passion, however, was apparently golf and poetry. In both the United States and in Europe, he was known as the “Laureate of the Links.” In 1923, he published a collection of golf poetry, Lyrics of the Links.

In a biography he wrote for the Harvard Fortieth Anniversary Report for the Class of 1880, Keene wrote”

Occasional games of golf have kept me alive under the great strains of my official duties. During the calendar year 1920, this office handled over 43,000 alien applications for visa of passport, a nerve tattering task.

A Song of Four Seasons is from an 1898 issue of Golf magazine.


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