William Henry Ogilvie

(21 August 1869 – 30 January 1963 / Kelso, Scotland)

The Stockyard Liar - Poem by William Henry Ogilvie

If ever you're handling a rough one
There's bound to be perched on the rails
Of the Stockyard some grizzled old tough one
Whose flow of advice never fails;
There are plenty of course, who aspire
To make plain that you're only a dunce,
But the most insupportable liar
Is the man who has ridden 'em once.
He will tell you a tale and a rum one,
With never a smile on his face,
How he broke for old Somebody Some-one
At some unapproachable place;
How they bucked and they snorted and squealed,
How he spurred 'em and flogged 'em, and how
He would gallop 'em round till they reeled -
But he's 'getting too old for it now'.

How you're standing too far from her shoulder,
Or too jolly close to the same,
How he could have taught you to hold her
In the days when he 'followed the game';
He will bustle, annoy and un-nerve us
Till even our confidence fails -
O Shade of old Nimrod! preserve us
From the beggar that sits on the rails!

How your reins you are holding too tightly,
Your girths might as well be unloosed,
How 'young chaps' don't handle them rightly,
And horses don't buck 'like they used';
Till at last, in a bit of passion,
You ask him in choicest 'Barcoo'
To go and be hanged in a fashion
That turns the whole atmosphere blue!

And the chances are strong the old buffer
Has been talking for something to say,
And never rode anything rougher
Than the shaft of old Somebody's dray;
And the horses he thinks he has broken
Are clothes-horses sawn out of pine,
And his yarns to us simply betoken
The start of a senile decline.

There are laws for our proper protection
From murder and theft and the rest,
But the criminal wanting inspection
Is riding a rail in the West;
And the law that the country requires
At the hands of her statesmen of sense
Is the law that makes meat of the liars
That can sit a rough buck - on the fence!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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