Banjo Paterson

(17 February 1864 – 5 February 1941 / New South Wales)

The Last Trump


"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.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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