Rio Grande and other Verses

Hard Luck

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

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’d 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 was he?
Ask where the empty boilers are
    Beside the Circular Quay.

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