Barcroft Henry Thomas Boake

(26 March 1866 – May 1892 / Sydney / Australia)

To A Hatpeg - Poem by Barcroft Henry Thomas Boake

There’s a nice little hatpeg that hangs on the wall
That long from its owner has parted,
And though he is wandering far beyond call
Like him it is always true hearted.

Many seasons have passed since his limp Cabbage Tree
Has dangled upon the old rack
But that one single peg, always vacant must be,
For its owner will surely come back.

And though in far countries, he sadly doth roam
While hunger had forced him to beg
Till fortune grows kindly, and sends him back home,
There’s an Angel who watches that peg.

One afternoon, after a long weary tramp,
And hard grafting, to which he’s no stranger,
He found, that a letter, had come to the camp,
To warn him, his peg was in danger;

The words that he used, are best shown by a dash -
As he swore that no rival he’d brook,
Said he “my fine fellow I’ll settle your hash”
As the first train to Cooma he took.

When he came to that town, he bought pistols and knives,
And a sword, with a long shiny blade,
You’d have thought that his rival, had two or three lives,
By the fierce preparations he made;

He bought a chaffcutter, an axe and a saw
With a coffin, lined neatly with satin,
Such a beautiful coffin was ne’er seen before,
With a pious inscription in Latin

A hammerless gun, that went off at a touch,
Of green cartridges nearly a keg.
Said he “When I’ve used them, there won’t remain much,
Of the man with designs on my peg.

Then he planted himself, till his rival came by.
From the weapons he made a selection,
Quoth he “When he comes I shall certainly try,
And give him the warmest reception.”

So as the bold stripling, came singing along,
The Exile, sprang out from his lair,
While his rival soon warbled a different song
(T’was less of a song, than a prayer)

Then he shot him with axes, and chopped him with guns,
Till his state, was so utterly utter –
When the Exile, collects all the pieces, and runs
The remnants right through the chaffcutter –

He turns at the handle, with feelings of joy –
And as he put through the last leg,
Quoth he, “this is how I shall treat any boy,
Who dares hang his hat (alt: to lay hands) on my peg –”

Then he shut down the coffin, well pleased to be rid,
Of the youth, who got terribly mauled, for
The sake of a hat peg – Then tacked on the lid
A label – Please keep until called for – “

Read these verses, sweet youth! – for a moral lies there
‘Tis short, not much more than a line,
At Rosedale, are plenty of pegs and to spare –
Don’t hang up your hat upon mine –


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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