If I'd Got There First
If I’d Got There First
Sorry, Mr Noyes
A very beautiful and sad poem based loosely on
It was a cold and dark, dark night
Oh cold, and dark and chill the night
Only the moon was shining bright
Or to use the adverb, it brightly shone,
The lonely road it shone upon
On that windswept moor; that awful night.
The horseman came on his horse (of course).
What use is a horseman without his horse?
He’d slipped a fine saddle upon his horse
Well, not slipped, for a saddle’s a huge pile of crap
With skirt, seat, and cantle and heavy girth strap
And irons for the stirrups which all need great force.
View from out of the inn's window. The Highwayman approaches.
He came to the inn yard. On the great door he tapped
And he tapped and he tapped and then loudly rapped
He rapped yet more loudly, till his temper near snapped
Then inserted his fingers and the letterbox he flapped
Then looking around him he saw on the floor;
Lying all by itself near the great inn yard door
A brick, which in very nice paper he wrapped.
Brick, for those who need some pictorial evidence
On the paper he’d written, “To my dearest Bess,
“I tried to gain entry, but I must confess,
“Though I knocked quite politely… Well, more or less,
“Nobody answered; I’ve had no success”.
Then he took up his brick in the message he’d wrote
(Oops! I should have said wrapped in the note
That he’d written) and threw with finesse.
He threw it with feeling right over the wall
Like a bowler at Lords; like the Paki they called;
“The Rawalpindi Express” at that match in Lahore.
And a voice from within shouted, “Oi! What’s that for?”
“There’s no one here; they’ve all gone out: King George’s boys
“The landlord’s gone; Bess has gone; and Alfred Noyes
It’s just me, the ostler, just Tim… and that’s all”.
King George's men popping out for the evening. Probably to be nasty to someone, or just out for a bit of more innocent fun.
“So bugger off, mate!” said the voice from inside,
“You’ve missed your chance, horseman. You should decide
“When going out visiting, if on horse, you’re astride
“Just plan in advance, and let this be your guide:
“Your Bess has been courting one of King George’s chaps.
“Her dad’s in agreement, so you’re out, friend… But perhaps
“If you’ve got nothing planned, I could let you in and we could watch a bit of TV and send out for kebabs and French fries”.