The Irish Dealer and the Wrong Customer

2 December 2011 Comments

By William Phillpotts Williams (1860-1916)

          An' bedad! I'm glad I've met you, 
          For you see I don't forget you, 
Sure I've brought the horse from Oirland for yer honour by the ship, 
          He was bred in ould Kilkenny, 
          An' I'll lay yer my last penny 
That he'll go from night till morning without asking for the whip. 

          Tired! no; the man who sould him 
          Said you've only got to hould him 
An' he'd wear your breeches threadbare e're he'd ask you for a halt; 
          Come, sir, take him an' be lanient, 
          You can pay me when convanient, 
Them that's bred and reared in England never will be worth their salt. 

          'Twas the blind man saw him walking, 
          An' the dumb man started talking 
When he passed me, an' he tould me he was worth his weight in gould.
          "Whisht!" the deaf man said, "you're joking, 
          "I can hear the fun you're poking, 
"Sure the eighty Irish members could not buy him, so I'm tould." 

          'Twas last week in Dublin city, 
          Don't ye know it? more's the pity,
Well I lunched with Mister Morley off a leg of roasted pork, 
          He was on his best behaviour, 
          An' he begged me as a favour 
Av I'd spare him half an hour for a confidential talk. 

          "Pat," he said, "you know my feelings,
          "How I tries for pleasant dealings 
"With the boys that form the cabinet there in mighty London town, 
          "Arrah! now, I'll not evict you, 
          "An' I'll see they don't convict you 
"When you're short of rint next quarter, av you'll let me buy the brown. 

          "For, ye see, there's Asquith seeking 
          "For a nag, I heard him speaking 
"To his wife about a hunter down at Spencer's in the shires, 
          "An' I thought I might present it 
          "From myself, you'll not repent it, 
"For they're dacent kind of people, an' it's blood that she requires. 

          "An' besides, there's many measures 
          "That the liberal party treasures, 
"Av the boys will pull together we shall prosper in the end; 
          "So I ask for your assistance, 
          "An' we will not mind resistance, 
"Pat," he spoke with great emotion, "you will not refuse a friend." 

          "Mister Morley," I repeated, 
          "Don't get up," I said, " be seated, 
"Is the case so very pressing?" "Divil 'a lie," said honest John; 
          Then I said yer honour 'd buy him, 
          "Well," he said, "then let him try him, 
"Av he don't, then I must have him, but ye must not keep me long." 

          What! the horse belonged to you, sor? 
          An' my statements are not true, sor? 
He was bred down here in Wiltshire an' ye know the very farm! 
          Lame behind, and cribs and whistles? 
          Is not worth a feed of thistles? 
Well, ye see, sor, it's this way, sor, now I'll tell ye; pray be calm. 

          Now my father was a man, sor, 
          Av ye doubt my word, ye can, sor, 
With a janius for invention, an' my mother was the same, 
          So ye see it's handed down, sor, 
          An' has brought us much renown, sor, 
Like our ancestors before us an' the stock from whence we came.

          Arrah! now, yer honour's laughing, 
          Faix! I see you're fond of chaffing, 
It's the smile that makes us handsome an' I see ye know the way. 
          Well, I'm mighty plazed we've met, sor, 
          It's yourself I'll not forget, sor, 
Shake my hand; good afternoon, sor, we will deal another day. 


William Phillpotts Williams published several books of poetry primarily about horses and particularly about the hunt. He is not one of the most talented writers of his time, nor do his poems deal with ground-breaking subjects—limitations of his writing the he acknowledges in his introductions—but many of his poems show an honest enjoyment of horses and the people who handle them.

Tagged: Books & Reading, Horses, Ireland, Ireland - Dublin, Ireland - Kilkenny, Irish Horse Dealer by Williams, Poetry, United Kingdom, United Kingdom - England, William Phillpotts Williams


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