Poems 26

             Twenty Years Ago


Twenty years ago I knew

Riding hard a cycling crew

Whose mileage on a Sunday ride

Would range the country far and wide

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago they’d meet

At time when cycling was feat

Every day was heaven-sent

The weather called for no comment

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago Tom rode

Sixty miles to one he woo’ed

Sixty back on Sunday night

And worked next morning fit and bright

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago old Fred

Slaved all the week for daily bread:

When weekend came you’d find him fit

To take aboard his camping kit

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago there sped

From Abram way another Fred

Who toiled in pit the lifelong day

Yet chose the weekend cycling way

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago Bill’s mind

Was on his wayward flock inclined

Until a damsel he espied

And from the fold he strayed aside

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago two chaps

Famed far and wide for strange mishaps

Blackberry Joe and Wally Kay

Sped on their erratic way

          Twenty years ago.


Twenty years ago one Jack –

At anything he’d have a crack

I think he found a final cure

Upon a Devon tandem tour

          Twenty years ago.


In twenty years I see a change

As the old horizons range

But Joe and Bill, a loyal pair

The rest is just as if it were

          A Hundred Years Ago!               Summer 1948


                       By George!

 At How Stean Gorge, by George!

Just watch Tom Gorge, by George!

With eggs and ham, of damn

Aye, genuine eggs and ham!


At How Stean Beck, by heck!

Tom had a reck, by heck!

While we sat glum, by gum

Honestly  feeling glum!


Oh what a biz, gee whizz!

That lunch of his, gee whizz!

That was a feed indeed

A thundering jolly good feed!


And what had we, by gee!

Poached egg and tea, by gee!

The same to pay, I say

We’d just the same to pay!


And now I’ll add, by gad!

A moral sad, by gad!

Take all you can, old man

Take all you jolly well can!                   After Easter 1949


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