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Friday, 2 December 2011

Old Bess


             
             
             
                                         Old Bess
           
                        This poem is the true story of my times, I knew and
                        loved this horse for many years.....

                        The old shire mare
                        munched her hay
                        she had pulled her
                        share of coal this
                        winters day ...

                        Along Willesden High Road
                        to Paddington Green
                        Old Bess pulled her cart
                        two tons of coal,to
                        burn in fires to keep out
                        the cold from human ones
                        eat your hay
                        your day is done....

                        Rest Old Bess
                        your home and dry
                        but its very bitter
                        add some more straw
                        to keep the ice
                        from the stable floor...

                        Morn did come
                        bitter and cold
                        Old Bess was harnessed
                        for the two ton cart
                        forty bages of anthracite coal
                        that Bess must pull
                        with a brave old heart....

                        Over the brow of Dollis Hill
                        a two ton load a daunting task
                        up this hill with ice like shinning glass
                        the driver led Bess by the halter
                        with skid pans on the back end wheels
                        that stopped the cart from rolling back
                        weary Old Bess just heaved that load,
                        slipping and skidding on the ice-bound roads...

                        Half way up this blessed hill
                        steam and froth came from her coat
                        Old Bess collapsed upon the road
                        her heart had burst, with this great load
                        we heard her driver plead with her
                        as tears rolled from his eyes
                        he craddled her head until she died...

                        They picked her up with no finess
                        carving her up in the "Horse Meat" shop
                        selling her remains as edible flesh
                        War time London, meat was scarce
                        not many would know, they'd ate
                        Old Bess.

                                       Peter Wicks
                 

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