(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Dark Horse

Do you know this mysterious, serious Watt
Who sits at the game with the cards in his sleeve;
Watching and waiting
While we're calculating
The tricks and the honors? It's hard to believe
That any man use to a gamble political
COULD be so slow. And we're apt to get critical.

Why this annoying and cloying restraint?
Can't he declare when he counts up his hand?
Some say he's mutable; others inscrutable,
Counting a slam, either little or grand.
Still, he should recognise players are waiting there
While he is holding his cards, hesitating there.

Even disasterful, masterful Hughes
Pauses to think as he looks o'er his cards.
'Can he be 'cute?' he says.
'Or just a mute?' he says.
(Oh, don't this rhyming come hard on the bards?)
Still, if the 'aces' are all held by Billy, then
Watt won't declare. But the question is' Will 'e then?

E'en analytical, critical Bruce
Dares to declare he has more than his 'doots'
Though he's a Treasurer
And a shrewd measurer
Of all the chances of various 'soots' ...
So the game stands. And there's no declaration, sirs.
All's in the Game. But the STAKE is the nation, sirs!

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