Ah, Jack! Time finds us feeble men, And all too swift our years have flown. The days are different now to then - In that time when we rode ten stone.
The minstrel when his mem'ry goes To old times, tunes a doleful lay - Comparing modern nags with those Which Lee once bred down Bathurst way.
The type to-day's a woeful weed, Which lacks the stoutness, strength and bone Of horses they were wont to breed In those days - when we rode ten stone.
But all of us remorseless Fate O'ertakes, and as the years roll on Our saddles carry extra weight, And old age mourns the keenness gone.
The young ones, too - 'mong men, I mean - Watch not the sires from whom they've sprung, They nowadays are not so keen As when we - and the world - were young.
They've neither nerve nor seat to suit The back of Paddy Ryan's roar - That wall-eyed, vicious, bucking brute You rode - when you could ride ten stone.
But, Johnny, ere we "go to grass" - Ere angel wings are fledged to fly - With wine we'll fill a bumper glass, And drink to those good times gone by.
We've had our day - 'twill not come back! But, comrade mine, this much you'll own, 'Tis something to have had it, Jack- That time when we could ride ten stone!
First published in The Bulletin, 13 May 1893.