Rio Grande and other Verses

Do They Know?

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

DO they know? At the turn to the straight
    Where the favourites fail,
And every last atom of weight
    Is telling its tale;
As some grim old stayer hard-pressed
    Runs true to his breed,
And with head just in front of the rest
    Fights on in the lead;
When the jockeys are out with the whips,
    With a furlong to go,
And the backers grow white to the lips—
    Do you think they don’t know?

Do they know? As they come back to weigh
    In a whirlwind of cheers,
Though the spurs have left marks of the fray,
    Though the sweat on the ears
Gathers cold, and they sob with distress
    As they roll up the track,
They know just as well their success
    As the man on their back.
As they walk through a dense human lane
    That sways to and fro,
And cheers them again and again,
    Do you think they don’t know?

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