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How we drove the Trotter



Oh, he was a handsome trotter, and he couldn't be completer,
He had such a splendid action and he trotted to this metre,
Such a pace and such a courage, such a record-killing power,
That he did his mile in two-fifteen, his twenty in the hour.
When he trotted on the Bathurst road the pace it was a panter,
But he broke the poet's rhythm when he broke out in a canter -

As we were remarking the pace was a panter,
But just as we liked it he broke in a canter,
And rattled along with a motion terrific,
And scattered the sparks with a freedom prolific;
He tugged at the bit and he jerked at the bridle,
We pulled like a demon, the effort was idle,
The bit in his teeth and the rein in the crupper,
We didn't much care to get home to our supper.

Then we went
Like the wind,
And our hands
They were skinned,
And we thought
With a dread
To go over his head,
And we tugged
And we strove,
Couldn't say
That we drove
Till we found
It had stopped
And the gallop was dropped!

Then he dropped into a trot again as steady as a pacer,
And we thought we had a dandy that was sure to make a racer
That would rival all the Yankees and was bound to beat the British,
Not a bit of vice about him though he was a trifle skittish;
Past the buggies and the sulkies on the road we went a-flying,
For the pace it was a clinker, and they had no chance of trying,
But for fear he'd start a canter we were going to stop his caper
When he bolted like a bullet at a flying piece of paper -

Helter skelter,
What a pelter!
Such a pace to win a welter!
Rush,
Race,
Tear!
Flying through the air!
Wind a-humming,
Fears benumbing,
Here's another trap a-coming!
Shouts!
Bash!
Crash!
Moses, what a smash!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:42 min read
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William Thomas Goodge

William Thomas Goodge (28 September 1862 – 28 November 1909) was an English writer and journalist, who arrived in Australia in 1882, after jumping ship in Sydney. He worked in various jobs in New South Wales, including as a coal-miner, until he was engaged to write for "The Tribune" in North Sydney, a small weekly associated with the "Daily Telegraph". From there he was chosen by Harry Newman (Member of Parliament and newspaper proprietor) to edit "The Leader" newspaper in Orange, NSW. Goodge remained in Orange, becoming part-owner of "The Leader" at some point, until in the early 1900s he returned to Sydney and began writing for that city's newspapers, especially "The Sunday Times". Goodge was first married on 21 January 1892. His wife died 3 January 1895 of typhoid, leaving behind two children. Sometime later he remarried and had another child. Goodge died on 28 November 1909 in North Sydney. During his writing career, Goodge wrote mainly light-verse poems and short stories. Although he did have one novel, The Fortunes of Fenchurch, serialised in the pages of The Sunday Times, the book was never published separately. His best known works were "The Great Australian Adjective", and "The Oozlum Bird". Norman Lindsay, who illustrated the reprint volume of Goodge's only poetry collection, considered the poet better than C. J. Dennis. "Goodge, with his Hits! Skits! and Jingles!, is a much better light-verse writer than Dennis, and his book should be reprinted."  more…

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    "How we drove the Trotter" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41746/how-we-drove-the-trotter>.

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