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My Hat!

The hats of a man may be many

In the course of a varied career,

And some have been worth not a penny

And some have been devilish dear;

But there's one hat I always remember
When sitting alone by the fire.

In the depth of a Northern November,

Because it fulfilled my desire.

It was old, it was ragged and rotten

And many years out of mode,

Like a thing that a tramp had forgotten

And left at the side of a road.

The boughs of the mulga had torn it,

It's ribbon was naught but lace,

And old swaggie would not have worn it

Without a sad smile on his face.

When I took off the hat to the ladies

It was rather with sorrow than swank,

And often I wished it in Hades
When the gesture drew only a blank;

But for swatting a fly on the tucker

Or lifting a quart from the fire

Or belting the ribs of a bucker

It was all that a man could desire.

When it ought to have gone to the cleaner's

(And stayed there, as somebody said!)

It was handy for flogging the weaners

From the drafting-yard into the shed.

And oft it has served as a dish for

A kelpie in need of a drink;

It was all that a fellow could wish for

In many more ways than you'd think.

It was spotted and stained by the weather,

There was more than one hole in the crown,

And it made little difference whether

The rim was turned up or turned down.

It kept out the rain (in a fashion)

And kept off the sun (more or less),

Bt it merely comanded compassion

Considered as part of one's dress.

Though it wasn't a hat you would bolt with

Or be anxious to borrow or hire,

It was useful to blindfold a colt with

Or handle a bit of barbed wire.

Though the world may have thought it improper

To wear such old rubbish as that,

I'd have scorned the best London-made topper

In exchange for my old battered hat.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:48 min read
126 Views

William Henry Ogilvie

William Henry Ogilvie was a Scottish-Australian narrative poet and horseman. more…

All William Henry Ogilvie poems | William Henry Ogilvie Books

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