“When a Man’s Rubbed Out” [poem by Grant Hervey, 28 December 1902]

[Editor: A poem by Grant Hervey, published in his “Cuts and Carvings” column in The Sunday Times (Perth, WA).]

“When a Man’s Rubbed Out.”

[The committee shall disqualify, for any period they may think fit, any person who, in their opinion, has been guilty of dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, or improper practices on the Turf — Rules of the W.A.T.C.] —

Lo, many bards have sorrowed o’er the troubles of the lover,
When denuded of his best girl and divested of his “mash” ;
Oh, a poet host hath mumbled lines of sadness glumly over,
When a heedless Fate hath shortened their supplies of beer and hash !
Oh, a bardly band sits grieving over Fortune’s fickle bubble,
Yes, they sing their weary verses, mixing drink with death and drought ;
But no bard has plumbed the ocean of the racing crookster’s “trouble,”
When he’s yanked before Committee, and thee Turf Club rubs him out !

When Perth Cap day draweth nigher and the Railway Stakes are nearing,
Oh ! the sorrows of the person named within the Calendar !
Oh ! the solemn hours he spendeth in a sad and lonely beering,
Being banished from that heaven where the sport and spielers are !
Oh ! his nights of long repentance for that fatal, damned “ binduli” ;
Ah ! the longing for the “paddock,” for the betting and the rout —
They are bitter, are the feelings of the person who is truly
Warned from track, and hill, and grandstand, and in justice emptied out !

Oh ! the yearning for the sighting of the “chiv” of starter Chipper
Oh ! the anguish of the “owner”; oh, the wailings of the “book”;
Oh ! the “strike-me-pinks!” and “blimeys!” of the license-cancelled nipper
Ah! the sadness of the legion who are “rubbed” for running “crook” !
They are sadder than the Johnnie of his flighty “mash” divested,
They are glummer than the party with the toothache or the gout ;
Oh ! the gloom upon their faces when their absence is requested —
O ! the grieving of the pirates whom “The Club” has pen-slashed out !

When Helena Vale is mentioned, lo, with sad, dejected, features
Do they “hook it,” coyote fashion, hiding shamedly in the dark ;
They are broken, they are joyless, they are crumpled, forlorn creatures
Who are barred like thieves at Burswood and are banned at Canning Park !
Oh ! the misery of the “trainer” — oh, the sighing of the “punter,”
Yearning vainly for the odds-call and the child of Judah shout.
They are soaked in gloom and sorrow, whom Boss Strickland’s racing junta
Hath, with fingers to its nostrils, rubbed from card and race-book out !

Oh, the six long months all endless, or the the year of livelong cursin’ —
Oh, the earth looks grey and blasted to the vulture “scratched” for life ! —
“What’s the blanky use of breathing”? asks the cancelled racing-person,
As he calmly heaves the teacups with the question at his wife !
How he dreams of flashy driving once again behind the trotters,
On the Guildford-road careering to the joyous racing bout.
Oh ! the bitterness of waking, to the caught and euchred “rotters”
Whom “the club” hath in Committee rubbed for aye and ever out !

I have sung the time of gnashing and the endless months of waiting ;
I have named the pangs and painings that the six-monthed “stiffster” feels ;
I have stated all their sadness and their curses unabating
Of the racing skunk convicted, whom “Sec” Keyser gives “fair deals.”
Now I end by merely hinting — for no living scibe could pen it —
Of the change from gloom to gladness, and the ended time and pain
When “the Club” lets up its tortures, and the frantic feelings when it
Says the Turf is vindicated and Sir Crook may Race Again.

The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 28 December 1902, page 12

Editor’s notes:
Boss Strickland = Mr. W.H. Strickland, Chairman of the Western Australian Turf Club [see: The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Saturday 22 June 1901, page 36]

Chipper = Mr. Steve J. Chipper, starter for the Western Australian Turf Club [see: The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Thursday 26 October 1933, page 20]

Helena Vale = Helena Vale Racing Club

“Sec” Keyser = Mr. E. C. Donat Keyser, Secretary of the Western Australian Turf Club [see: The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Saturday 6 July 1901, page 37]

W.A.T.C. = Western Australian Turf Club

[Editor: Corrected “W.A TC.” to “W.A.T.C.” (inserted full stops).]

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