Rio Grande and other Verses

The Last Trump

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

‘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.

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