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Hockey’s roots are indeterminate, but note the opening lines of this poem extolling the delights of winter, from the January 1827 edition of Acadian Magazine. Ricket was originally a field game played with a ball and a stick called a hurley.
Now at ricket with hurlies some dozens of boys
Chase the ball o'er the ice, with a deafening noise.
Now some play at curling, and some with great ease
Cut circles or figures whichever you please
On their skates, or else letters -- the true lover's knot,
And a dozen such things which I've really forgot.
Now weary with pastime, with appetite keen,
We wind our way home at the dusk of the e'en.
What a dinner awaits us! fowls, turkies and pork,
Geese, mutton, and turnips -- what work for the fork
And the knife! Oh the puddings and rich minc'd meat pies!
To one pinched with hunger what sights for the eyes?
Now the bottle goes freely, we make ourselves warm,
Nor heed the loud gusts of the rattling storm.
Now old codgers talk politics, settle the fate
Of Turk, Spaniard, Russ, Greek, in learned debate.
Now the little chaps circle around the bright blaze,
And gape at Ghost Stories in frightful amaze.
Now at nine of the night we commence the quadrille,
And the waltz and the country dance help time to kill.
Now supper's at two -- now dancing again,
'Till the excess of pleasure is followed by pain.
Now a thundering rap or a ring at the door,
Informs you the party has broke up at four.
Now the nights being lengthy, the newspaper throng
Indite you a sonnet, or letter, or song;
And I being troubled with CACOETHES SCRIBEND' --
To the Magazine, thought a few verses I'd send.
Now I've sat up till two these metres to handle,
And find I have got to the end of my candle.
I feel rather cool, my fire's all black,
So I'll whip off my clothes and to bed in a crack!
Besides I am sleepy -- perhaps so are you
From reading my verse -- then I bid you adieu!
But first, if you please, just one word in your ear,
I wish all Subscribers a Happy New Year.