Works in the Herald 1929
Did you ever meet Bert? 'E's all over the town, 
   In offices, shops an' in various places, 
Cocky an' all; an' you can't keep 'im down.
   I never seen no one so lucky at races.  
Backs all the winners or very near all;
   Tells you nex' day when the races are over.  
'E makes quite a pot, for 'is wagers ain't small;
   An' by rights 'e 'ad ought to be livin' in clover.

But, some'ow or other -- aw, well, I dunno.
   You got to admit that some fellers is funny.  
'E don't dress too well an' 'is spendin' is low.
   I can't understand wot 'e does with 'is money.  
'E ought to be sockin' a pretty fair share;
   An' tho' 'e will own 'e's a big money-maker, 
'E don't seem to save an' 'e don't seem to care 
   If 'e owes a big wad to 'is butcher an' baker.

'E don't tell you much if you meet on the course;
   But after it's over 'e comes to you grinnin',
Shows you 'is card where 'e's marked the first 'orse,
   An' spins you a wonderful tale of 'is winnin'.  
Can't make 'im out, 'e's so lucky an' that.
   Knows ev'ry owner an' trainer an' jockey: 
But all of 'is wagerin's done on 'is pat. 
   Won't spill a thing, even tho' 'e's so cocky.

Oyster, that's Bert.  'E's as close as a book.
   But sometimes I've come on 'im sudden an' saw 'im 
Lip 'angin' down an' a reel 'aggard look,
   Like all the woes in the world come to gnaw 'im.  
But, soon as 'e sees you, 'e brightens right up.  
   "Picked it again, lad!" 'e sez to you, grinnin'.  
"A fiver at sevens I 'ad in the Cup!
   That's very near sixty odd quid that I'm winnin'."

Mystery man -- that's 'is style for a cert,
   Picks the 'ole card, yet 'e's shabby and seedy;
'E must 'ave some sorrer in secrit, ole Bert -
   Some drain on 'is purse wot is keepin' 'im needy.
A terrible pity.  Some woman, no doubt.
   No wonder 'e worries in secrit an' souses.
If I 'ad 'is winnin's, year in an' year out,
   Why I'd own a Rolls Royce an' a terris of 'ouses.

Herald, 8 November 1929

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002=06