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To My Steed

Fun, III - 23rd June 1866


Oh, bony, shambling, roaring mare,
Thou raw-boned, rickety affair,
You are endowed with so immense
An instinct, that it's almost sense,
If horsy sages do not lie;
Yet tell me, Rosinante, why,
Whene'er I mount thy bony back,
Whereon I sit me like a sack,
Why dost thou let me stop up there?
You've but to give a kick in air,
You've only just to swerve aside,
Or shy, as I begin to ride,
Or prance, or buck, or rear, or swerve,
And I should lose all trace of nerve —
Be ignominiously unhorsed,
From you and yours for aye divorced!
Why, if you have the instinct true
With which mankind accredit you,
Why do you fear to kick or trip —
Because, forsooth, I bear a whip?
Do you suppose that as I ride
I'd dare to use it on your hide?
Why, my good gracious goodness me,
How jolly verdant you must be!
I should as soon attempt to lash
The steed I ride upon, as thrash
The gladiator THOMAS KING,
Or other Genius of The Ring!
Is it my spurs that make you quail?
Do you suppose I'd dare assail
Your wretched flanks with spur-born marks
If ever you attempted larks?
Believe me, unattractive mare,
It ever is my cherished care
(For which I make no claim for thanks),
To keep them distant from thy flanks.
I'd rather run them, of the two,
Right into me than into you.
Why, ass, though from your cringing way,
You seem to dread my nervous sway,
Yet, if the truth you only knew,
I'm much — much more afraid of you!

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