Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Annie's Poem

This was written for my Auntie Annie by my Grandfather. The comments are by my Auntie Pearl, Pearl’s comments…….. This poem was written for Annie. At that time if you wanted to sell chickens, you sent for a crate to put them in, but this time it didn’t arrive. The part about Dad’s clothes ~ I’m sure the suit of Uncle Jacks was Aunty Louisa’s idea. Dad never wore a suit in his life, but when he went out, he always wore clean moleskin trousers, a white shirt and a spotless white hanky round his neck. He was very clean and tidy. Dad really loved Annie. (She was his firstborn). Granny Magford’s was the wine place in Glenrowan where Ned Kelly was captured. Edna and I used to go there sometimes to work.

I think Grandad was feeling guilty for going off to drink and by doing so the chicken escaped. He used to like to drink so I have heard. He died when I was 1, so I never knew him. He spent a lot of years living at Auntie Annie’s place, Her husband Dan died very young and she raised a family of six children.

Poem by Hugh Ranton (1866-1937) as remembered by his daughter Pearl McKinley

Annie's Poem.

Yes, time flies swiftly onward,
Though it seems but yesterday
that we met at Granny Mogford's
where the chicken got away.

He'd escaped from his companions
through a vent, within the bag,
Which I fixed, you well remember
with some rotten string or rag.

Then we looked among the others
to make sure that they were right,
But we found the trip and worry
had put out another's light.

And me thought me of the scotch man,
Aye, that close and canny beast,
With his `bang goes sixpence lassie',
Each was worth a thrum at least.

My heart went out with pity,
For your face was lined with care,
And I read the disappointment
at the crate that wasn't there.

Wee Ticky didn't know me,
You will learn with some surprise,
I was there in borrowed plumage,
Like a jackdaw in disguise.

For the hat that covered Snowy
and the clothes upon my back
- bar the boots with Danny's heels -
all belonged to Uncle Jack !

I left you at the slip rails,
For a moment took a spell,
Quaffed a wine, seized my packet,
Took the train and steamed to hell.

In the end, the pick and crowbar
and that tough, unfinished line,
Where you reckoned at the day's end
posts erected number nine.

Myself was in a muddle
and was left to dream at night
that I'd done the same as usual,
Just the thing that wasn't right.

Oh well, we all have our troubles
some are great and some are small;
But no matter their dimension,
'Twould be better - none at all !

But when Gabriel blows the trumpet,
Though the distance is so far,
I will shout aloud to Peter
for to swing dem gates ajar.

Hugh Ranton

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