The Arab Steed Poem : Songs of the Road Poetry by Arthur Conan Doyle

Songs of the Road Poetry

The Arab Steed Poem


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Arab Steed Poem

I gave the ‘orse ‘is evenin’ feed,
And bedded of ‘im down,
And went to ‘ear the sing-song
In the bar-room of the Crown,
And one young feller spoke a piece
As told a kind of tale,
About an Arab man wot ‘ad
A certain ‘orse for sale.

I ‘ave no grudge against the man—
I never ‘eard ‘is name,
But if he was my closest pal
I’d say the very same,
For wot you do in other things
Is neither ‘ere nor there,
But w’en it comes to ‘orses
You must keep upon the square.

Now I’m tellin’ you the story
Just as it was told last night,
And if I wrong this Arab man
Then ‘e can set me right;
But s’posin’ all these fac’s are fac’s,
Then I make bold to say
That I think it was not sportsmanlike
To act in sich a way.

For, as I understand the thing,
‘E went to sell this steed—
Which is a name they give a ‘orse
Of some outlandish breed—,
And soon ‘e found a customer,
A proper sportin’ gent,
Who planked ‘is money down at once
Without no argument.

Now when the deal was finished
And the money paid, you’d think
This Arab would ‘ave asked the gent
At once to name ‘is drink,
Or at least ‘ave thanked ‘im kindly,
An’ wished ‘im a good day,
And own as ‘e’d been treated
In a very ‘andsome way.

But instead o’ this ‘e started
A-talkin’ to the steed,
And speakin’ of its “braided mane”
An’ of its “winged speed,”
And other sich expressions
With which I can’t agree,
For a ‘orse with wings an’ braids an’ things
Is not the ‘orse for me.

The moment that ‘e ‘ad the cash—
Or wot ‘e called the gold,
‘E turned as nasty as could be:
Says ‘e, “You’re sold! You’re sold!”
Them was ‘is words; it’s not for me
To settle wot he meant;
It may ‘ave been the ‘orse was sold,
It may ‘ave been the gent.

I’ve not a word to say agin
His fondness for ‘is ‘orse,
But why should ‘e insinivate
The gent would treat ‘im worse?
An’ why should ‘e go talkin’
In that aggravatin’ way,
As if the gent would gallop ‘im
And wallop ‘im all day?

It may ‘ave been an’ ‘arness ‘orse,
It may ‘ave been an ‘ack,
But a bargain is a bargain,
An’ there ain’t no goin’ back;
For when you’ve picked the money up,
That finishes the deal,
And after that your mouth is shut,
Wotever you may feel.

Supposin’ this ‘ere Arab man
‘Ad wanted to be free,
‘E could ‘ave done it businesslike,
The same as you or me;
A fiver might ‘ave squared the gent,
An’ then ‘e could ‘ave claimed
As ‘e’d cleared ‘imself quite ‘andsome,
And no call to be ashamed.

But instead ‘o that this Arab man
Went on from bad to worse,
An’ took an’ chucked the money
At the cove wot bought the ‘orse;
‘E’d ‘ave learned ‘im better manners,
If ‘e’d waited there a bit,
But ‘e scooted on ‘is bloomin’ steed
As ‘ard as ‘e could split.

Per’aps ‘e sold ‘im after,
Or per’aps ‘e ‘ires ‘im out,
But I’d like to warm that Arab man
Wen next ‘e comes about;
For wot ‘e does in other things
Is neither ‘ere nor there,
But w’en it comes to ‘orses
We must keep ‘im on the square.

Songs of the Road Poetry

I. — Songs of the Road Narrative Verses And Songs
A Hymn Of Empire Poem
Sir Nigel’s Song Poem
The Arab Steed Poem
A Post-Impressionist Poem
Empire Builders Poem
The Groom’s Encore Poem
The Bay Horse Poem
The Outcasts Poem
The End Poem
1902-1909 Poem
The Wanderer Poem
Bendy’s Sermon Poem

II. — Songs of the Road Philosophic Verses
Compensation Poem
The Banner Of Progress Poem
Hope Poem
Religio Medici Poem
Man’s Limitation Poem
Mind And Matter Poem
Darkness Poem

III — Songs of the Road Miscellaneous Verses
A Woman’s Love Poem
By The North Sea Poem
December’s Snow Poem
Shakespeare’s Expostulation Poem
The Empire Poem
A Voyage Poem
The Orphanage Poem
Sexagenarius Loquitur Poem
Night Voices Poem
The Message Poem
The Echo Poem
Advice To A Young Author Poem
A Lilt Of The Road Poem

Songs of the Road Poetry

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