Barcroft Henry Boake

Here you will find the Long Poem How Babs Malone cut Down the Field of poet Barcroft Henry Boake

How Babs Malone cut Down the Field

Now the squatters and the ?cockies,?
 Shearers, trainers and their jockeys
Had gathered them together for a meeting on 
 the flat;
 They had mustered all their forces,
 Owners brought their fastest horses,
Monaro-bred - I couldn't give them greater praise
 than that.

 "Twas a lovely day in Summer -
 What the blacksmith called ?a hummer,? 
The swelling ears of wheat and oats had lost
 their tender green,
 And breezes made them shiver,
 Trending westward to the river -
The river of the golden sands, the moaning

 If you cared to take the trouble
 You could watch the misty double,
The shadow of the flying clouds that skimmed the 
 Boogong's brow,
 Throwing light and shade incessant
 On the Bull Peak's ragged crescent,
Upon whose gloomy forehead lay a patch of
 winter's snow.

 Idly watching for the starting
 Of the race that he had part in,
Old Gaylad stood and champed his bit, his
 weight about nine stone;
 His owner stood beside him,
 Who was also going to ride him,
A shearer from Gegederick, whose name was
 Ned Malone.

 But Gaylad felt disgusted, 
 For his joints were fairly rusted,
He longed to feel the pressure of the jockey on his
 And he felt that for a pin he'd
 Join his mates, who loudly whinnied
For him to go and meet them at the post upon
 the track.

 From among the waiting cattle
 Came the sound of childish prattle,
And the wife brought up their babe to kiss his
 father for good luck;
 Said Malone: "When I am seated
 On old Gaylad, and am treated
With fairish play, I'll bet we never finish in the 

 But the babe was not contented,
 Though his pinafore was scented
With oranges, and sticky from his lollies, for he
 This gallant little laddie,
 As he toddled to his daddy,
And raised his arms imploringly - "Please, dad,
 div Babs a wide."

 The father, how he chuckled 
 For the pride of it, and buckled
The surcingle, and placed the babe astride the
 racing pad;
 He did it, though he oughtn't,
 And by pure good luck he shortened
The stirrups, and adjusted them to suit the 
 tiny lad,

 Who was seemingly delighted,
 Not a little bit affrighted,
He sat and twined a chubby hand among the
 horse's mane:
 His whip was in the other;
 But all suddenly the mother
Shrieked, "Take him off!" and then ?the field? came
 thund'ring down the plain.

 'Twas the Handicap was coming,
 And the music of their drumming
Beat dull upon the turf that in its summer coat was
 The racehorse reared and started,
 Then the flimsy bridle parted,
And Gaylad, bearing featherweight, was striding
 with the rest.

 That scene cannot be painted 
 How the poor young mother fainted,
How the father drove his spurs into the nearest
 What to do? he had no notion,
 For you'd easier turn the ocean
Than stop the Handicap that then was half-way
 round the course.

 On the ?bookies? at their yelling,
 On the cheap-jacks at their selling,
On the crowd there fell a silence as the squadron
 passed the stand;
 Gayest colours flashing brightly,
 And the baby clinging tightly,
A wisp of Gaylad's mane still twisted in his
 little hand.

 Not a thought had he of falling,
 Though his little legs were galling,
And the wind blew out his curls behind him in a 
 golden stream;
 Though the motion made him dizzy, 
 Yet his baby brain was busy,
For hadn't he at length attained the substance
 of his dream!

 He was now a jockey really,
 And he saw his duty clearly
To do his best to win and justify his father's 
 So he clicked his tongue to Gaylad,
 Whispering softly, "Get away lad;"
The old horse cocked an ear, and put six inches
 on his stride.

Then, the jockeys who were tailing
 Saw the big bay horse come sailing
Through the midst of them with nothing but a baby
 on his back,
 And this startling apparition
 Coolly took up its position
With a view of making running on the inside
 of the track.

 Oh, Gaylad was a beauty,
 For he knew and did his duty;
Though his reins were flying loosely, strange to
 say he never fell,
 But held himself together,
 For his weight was but a feather;
Bob Murphy, when he saw him, murmured
 something like "Oh, hell!"

But Gaylad passed the filly;
 Passed Jack Costigan on ?Chilli,?
Cut down the coward ?Watakip? and challenged
 ?Guelder Rose;?
 Here it was he showed his cunning,
 Let the mare make all the running,
They turned into the straight stride for
 stride and nose for nose.

 But B