Xmas at Brady's Gap by C.J. Dennis

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Ho, the pleasures uv a cockie's life is as scanty as the rain
   An' it aint the rustic bliss thet some supposes;
Tho' its fur frum hurry-scurry, it's a 'ternal toil and worry,
   'Long a path thet's strewed with cockspur 'stid uv roses.
But once a year, in lonesome Brady's Gap afar away,
   The world takes on a tone a trifle bright,
With the races held in Billy Nolan's paddick Chris'mas day,
   An' the darnce in Brady's barn a Chris'mas night.

'E slings aside the cares uv life, the 'arrers an' the plough,
  A day an' night in joyfulness 'e's swimmin'.
'E grooms 'is faithful neddy, an' 'e togs 'imself out reddy,
   Fer a flutter with the 'orses and the wimmin;
An' ev'ry cove thet owns a moke, thet's gaime to raise a trot,
   An' aint too sore, or lame, 'e brings it up.
You mightn't call 'em racers, but they're pretty even pacers,
  An' the finishes ud lick a Melbun Cup.

Pat Casey, frum the shanty, 'as the right to fix a booth
   In the middle uv the paddick in the sun;
An' fore the fall uv night there's a muchal sorter fight,
   W'en Casey's fightin' beer is gettin' done.
Ther's scraps an' shindies ev'rywhere towards the close uv day,
   Fer ev'ry race is bound to be protested,
Until the flutter's run in the settin' uv the sun,
   An', barring Casey, most uv us is bested.

The coves thet's fairly sober 'as some tucker and a wash,
   An' gets the bits uv paddick off their clothes;
Then 'aving got the ladies, we makes a move to Brady's,
   An' stan's around the barn in sep'rate rows.
So it's start the old accorjin to the chune uv a quadrille,
   An' get the couples paired an' put to rights;
Then the comp'ny pegs away till dawnin' uv the day,
   With intervals between fer drinks and fights.

That's the annual injoyment thet the simple rustics meet,
   In this rain-forsaken land, w'ere joy is scant --
W'ere the cockie has illusions 'e kin raise a crop uv wheat,
   An' th' Almighty 'as convictions thet 'e can't.
It's the only bit uv color in a life thet's dull an' gray,
   It's the single joy we have to keep in sight:
Lookin' forward to the meetin' in the paddick Chris'mas Day,
   An' the darnce in Brady's barn a Chris'mas night.

First published in The Critic, 14 December 1901

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 14, 2013 7:00 AM.

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