I left the course, and by my side
There walked a ruined tout,
A hungry creature, evil-eyed,
Who poured this story out.
"You see," he said, "there came a swell
To Kensington today,
And, if I picked the winners well,
A crown at least he's pay.
"I picked three winners straight, I did;
I filled his purse with pelf,
And then he gave me half-a-quid
To back one for myself.
"A half-a-quid to me he cast,
I wanted it indeed;
So help me Bob, for two days past
I haven't had a feed.
"But still I thought my luck was in,
I couldn't go astray,
I put it all on Little Min,
And lost it straightaway.
"I haven't got a bite or bed,
I'm absolutely stuck;
So keep this lesson in your head:
Don't over-trust your luck!"
The folks went homeward, near and far,
The tout, oh! where is he?
Ask where the empty boilers are
Beside the Circular Quay.
Hard Luck by Andrew Barton Paterson