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The Life of Tom Morris
Chapter XXVIII - Conclusion


UNDER the title of "Classics for the Club-Men`` the following appeared in Golf Illustrated of June 28, 1901:

TOM MORRIS
(Ecce, Senex Andreamus)

Frae the Latin, by A Lang, not literally translated, and with apologies, to the author of John Peel]

Dae ye ken an auld man,
Wha's famous and so forth;
A part, tae, o' the shrine
In a Mecca o' the North?
Dae ye ken an auld man
Mair worshipped than the Saint
O' the grand auld city of St Andrews?

Dae ye ken an auld man,
Wha's naething of a "toff,"
Wears ony sort o' jacket
At the Royal game o' golf?
Dae ye ken the auld man,
The doyen o' the craft,
In the golf-mad toon o' St Andrews?

Dae ye km an auld man,
The Youthfu' golfer's frien',
Wha gi'es ye sage advice
Wi' a sparkle in his een?
Dae ye ken the auld man,
Wha says, "Tak' plenty san' "
His e'en tae St Andrews?

Dae ye ken an auld man
(A gentleman, indeed;
Tho' whiles, when he is vexed,
You may hear him gie a screed
O' words, that may not
Be the Apostolic Creed)?
The "Classics" on the links o' St Andrews?

But our dwelling's so transparent
That we daurna throw a stone.
There's Hades here and always
For golfing folks alone.
So such lapses we forgie,
Aye, an' wink the other ee,
Tae the grand auld man o' St Andrews.

Dae ye ken an auld man
O' missionary fame,
Aye opening new links
In the interests o' "the game"?
Is it true he'll sometimes say,
On a drop o' dry champagne:
"Your links are as good as St Andrews?"

Yes, Mr Andrew Lang, we "a' ken the auld man" and are very, very proud of him. And we know that in his true old heart- just as well as we know in our own hearts there are no links in all the world like the links of St Andrews.

To him and the writer of the story of his life this must ever be the case. To Andrew Lang, and to many more, St Andrews is a haunted town. To Tom Morris, and to many of us, its links are haunted links haunted happily, yet sadly (do not the two always go together, and are they ever far separated?) haunted by the most sacred of memories, and by forms that are the dearest to us that our eyes are ever likely to see! The Club-House, the starting-tee, the road, the burn, the bridge, the old station, the "Principal's Nose," the "Ginger-Beer" hole, "Hell," "The Elysian Fields," and "The Shepherd's Cottage" alike are haunted. Haunted, too, the wonderful putting-green at the fifth, "Walkinshaw's Grave," the "Heathery" hole, the "High" hole, the "Short" hole, the "End" hole, where one would meet us and walk home all the haunted way with us. "It was here and here. It was there and there that this and this, and that and that happened." Here we laughed till we were like to cry. There, things happened that make our eyes dim to think of, were our lips not filled with laughter and our tongues with singing, for we know it is well with those who thus made our happiness, and we are like those who dream when we look up into the fair sky haunted by their sweet presences, and when we remember the Re-union is not so far on as once it was. There are not so many miles of the weary way to go till we reach the Golden City of our later dreams. The larks in the blue lift sing of the glad time. The little waves, tipped with their white crests, whisper of it as they die of love upon the sands they caress. We catch sight of the Towers that keep sentinel over the Silent City where the dear ones sleep; where we, too, shall be laid to rest in hearing of the sea that moaned about our cradle and shall moan about our graves, and shall sing our Requiem while other eyes and other faces of the new generation will make pilgrimage to our resting-places.

And well pleased, dear Old Tom, will they be to know that on these links of St Andrews you are alive for evermore and that your memory will never be forgotten.

Well pleased, too, shall I be if in the course of time my memory may be linked in however small a way with your immortal one as he who, amid labours and honours not a few, valued by the many perhaps more than by himself, is happy in having found the leisure and the opportunity to be the humble chronicler of deeds so great as yours, and of a life so true, so honest, so noble and so loving as your own.

To us these things are still in the future, though it cannot be the long future it must be more or less short. Meantime, it is a matter of gladness to me that I have been able to bring this chronicle to a close, while its subject is still alive and as well as one of his years can be expected to be. Why, it is only the other day since the grand old man went out with a friend and played his 2 holes, and with the rubber-cored ball, too! To me it has been a labour of love to write the story of his life, for as I wrote all the air has been alive with happy memories and vocal with the sound of voices familiar as yesterday, though unheard for long and often wean", love-unillumined years love such as theirs. It has been a pleasure to know from numerous correspondents while it passed through the pages of Golfing that my narrative awakened similar memories in many hearts and that they have followed the great golfer's story with lively and affectionate interest. My thanks are due to these and to the various correspondents who have helped me to write this story, and to the Editor of the journal in which most of it first appeared. My appreciation of his unfailing kindness and courtesy is indeed great and sincere.

It is pleasant for me also to know that among the numerous readers of Golfing I have made many new friends; and it is a matter of congratulation that TOM MORRIS is still spared to the world of golf, to his own St Andrews, to his personal friends, and to the thousands who, though they have never seen him in the flesh, regard him with that admiration and respect and love which is the tribute that is due to his greatness as a golfer and to his worth as a man.

Above all, it is pleasant to me to think that my work has won the appreciation of the grand old man himself.

Long may he still be with us to enjoy the happy memories which must be his as the recollections of the past troop into his present and illumine his outlook towards The Future.


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