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The Old Timer’s Steeplechase
by [?]

Ha, ha! I laugh at it now to think
Of the way I contrived to work it.
Shut in amongst them, before you’d wink,
He found himself on the water’s brink,
With never a chance to shirk it!

The thought of the horror he felt, beguiles
The heart of this grizzled rover!
He gave a snort you could hear for miles,
And a spring would have cleared the Channel Isles
And carried me safely over!

Then we neared the scrub, and I pulled him back
In the shade where the gum-leaves quiver:
And I waited there in the shadows black
While the rest of the horses, round the track,
Went on like a rushing river!

At the second round, as the field swept by,
I saw that the pace was telling;
But on they thundered, and by-and-bye
As they passed the stand I could hear the cry
Of the folk in the distance, yelling!

Then the last time round! And the hoofbeats rang!
And I said, ‘Well, it’s now or never!’
And out on the heels of the throng I sprang,
And the spurs bit deep and the whipcord sang
As I rode! For the Mooki River!

We raced for home in a cloud of dust
And the curses rose in chorus.
‘Twas flog, and hustle, and jump you must!
And The Cow ran well — but to my disgust
There was one got home before us.

‘Twas a big black horse, that I had not seen
In the part of the race I’d ridden;
And his coat was cool and his rider clean,
And I thought that perhaps I had not been
The only one that had hidden.

. . . . .

And the trainer came with a visage blue
With rage, when the race concluded:
Said he, ‘I thought you’d have pulled us through,
But the man on the black horse planted too,

Alas to think that those times so gay
Have vanished and passed for ever!
You don’t believe in the yarn you say?
Why, man! ‘Twas a matter of every day
When we raced on the Mooki River!