The Poetry Corner

Hard Luck

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

I left the course, and by my side There walked a ruined tout, A hungry creature, evil-eyed, Who poured this story out. "You see," he said, "there came a swell To Kensington today, And, if I picked the winners well, A crown at least he's pay. "I picked three winners straight, I did; I filled his purse with pelf, And then he gave me half-a-quid To back one for myself. "A half-a-quid to me he cast, I wanted it indeed; So help me Bob, for two days past I haven't had a feed. "But still I thought my luck was in, I couldn't go astray, I put it all on Little Min, And lost it straightaway. "I haven't got a bite or bed, I'm absolutely stuck; So keep this lesson in your head: Don't over-trust your luck!" The folks went homeward, near and far, The tout, oh! where is he? Ask where the empty boilers are Beside the Circular Quay.