Poem of the Week 07

Hunter Trials

John Betjeman


It’s awf’lly bad luck on Diana,

Her ponies have swallowed their bits;

She fished down their throats with a spanner

And frightened them all into fits.


So now she’s attempting to borrow.

Do lend her some bits, Mummy, do;

I’ll lend her my own for to-morrow,

But to-day I’ll be wanting them too.


Just look at Prunella on Guzzle,

The wizardest pony on earth;

Why doesn’t she slacken his muzzle

And tighten the breech in his girth?


I say, Mummy, there’s Mrs. Geyser

And doesn’t she look pretty sick?

I bet it’s because Mona Lisa

Was hit on the hock with a brick.


Miss Blewitt says Monica threw it,

But Monica says it was Joan,

And Joan’s very thick with Miss Blewitt,

So Monica’s sulking alone.


And Margaret failed in her paces,

Her withers got tied in a noose,

So her coronets caught in the traces

And now all her fetlocks are loose.


Oh, it’s me now. I’m terribly nervous.

I wonder if Smudges will shy.

She’s practically certain to swerve as

Her Pelham is over one eye.



Oh, wasn’t it naughty of Smudges?

Oh, Mummy, I’m sick with disgust.

She threw me in front of the Judges,

And my silly old collarbone’s bust.