'Twas the morning 'fore the opener, when all through the Lou
Not a animal was stirring, except for Mizzou;
The playbooks were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that St. Gabbert soon would be there;
The Zou Crew were dressed all gold in their beds,
While visions of sugar bowls danced in their heads;
And mamma in black, and I in my gold,
Had just settled down for a long winter cold,
When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the (dave?) matter.
Away to the sidelines I flew like a flash,
Tore past the bleachers and right by the hash.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a mighty Tiger, and eight illini full o’ fear,
With a little old coach, so lively and scary,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Gary.
More rapid than maclin, his players they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Kemp! now, Smith! now, Goodner and Rutland!
On, Lawrence! on Franklin! on, Egnew and Hoch!
To the top of the field! to the top of the dome!
Now send those Illini all the way home!
As footballs before the wild offense fly,
When they meet with an defense, pray to the sky,
So up to the dome-top the players they flew,
With the books full of tricks, and St. Gabbert too.
And then, in a beating, I heard on the roof
The stomping and beating of an illini doof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the tunnel St. Gabbert came with a bound.
He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all perfect without jayhawk or soot;
A bundle of pressure he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a heisman just opening his pack.
His arm -- how it twinkled! his mind how merry!
His swagger like rose bowls, his smoothness like a cherry!
His shy little mouth was sewn up like a bow,
And the tip of his chin was as white as the snow;
The jayhawk he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He wasn’t chubby or plump, like our last jolly old elf,
And I grinned when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A flex of his arm and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the end zones; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the stadium he rose;
He sprang to his bus, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all ran like the down of a SOD REESING.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY OPENER to all, and to all a GOOD FIGHT."