Fives Court

Thomas Edward Brown

SOMETIMES at night I stand within a court
Where I have play’d by day ;
And still the walls are vibrant with the sport,
And still the air is pulsing with the sway
Of agile limbs that now, their labours o’er,
To healthful sleep their strength resign—
But how of those who play’d with me langsyne,
And sleep for evermore?

Fives is a game played in a walled court like a squash court or Rackets court. Instead of a racket, the ball is hit with the palm of the hand. Players wear special protective gloves. The game survives principally in English public schools, many of which, like Clifton, still have fives courts, although they are probably used more for students' nefarious activities (like bike sheds) rather than fives.