The Poetry Corner

The Last Trump

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

"You led the trump," the old man said With fury in his eye, "And yet you hope my girl to wed! Young man! your hopes of love are fled, 'Twere better she should die! "My sweet young daughter sitting there, So innocent and plump! You don't suppose that she would care To wed an outlawed man who'd dare To lead the thirteenth trump! "If you had drawn their leading spade It meant a certain win! But no! By Pembroke's mighty shade The thirteenth trump you went and played And let their diamonds in! "My girl, return at my command His presents in a lump! Return his ring! For, understand, No man is fit to hold your hand Who leads a thirteenth trump! "But hold! Give every man his due And every dog his day. Speak up and say what made you do This dreadful thing, that is, if you Have anything to say!" He spoke. "I meant at first," said he, "To give their spades a bump, Or lead the hearts; but then you see I thought against us there might be, Perhaps, a fourteenth trump!" * * * * * They buried him at dawn of day Beside a ruined stump: And there he sleeps the hours away And waits for Gabriel to play The last, the fourteenth trump.