The Geebung Polo Club

It was somewhere up the country in a land of rock and scrub
That they formed an institution called the Geebung Polo Club
They were long and wiry natives from the rugged mountainside
And the horse was never saddled that the Geebungs couldn’t ride
But their style of playing polo was irregular and rash
They had mighty little science, but a mighty lot of dash
And they played on mountain ponies that were muscular and strong
Though their coats were quite unpolished and their manes and tails were long
And they used to train those ponies wheeling cattle in the scrub
They were demons, were the members of the Geebung Polo Club

It was somewhere down the country in the city’s smoke and steam
That a polo club existed called the Cuff and Collar team
As a social institution ’twas a marvellous success
For the members were distinguished by exclusiveness and dress
They had natty little ponies that were nice and smooth and sleek
For their cultivated owners only rode ’em once a week
So they started up the country in pursuit of sport and fame
For they meant to show the Geebungs how they ought to play the game
And they took their valets with them – just to give their boots a rub
Ere they started operations on the Geebung Polo Club

Now my readers can imagine how the contest ebbed and flowed
When the Geebung boys got going it was time to clear the road
And the game was so terrific that ere half the time was gone
A spectator’s leg was broken – just from merely looking on
For they waddied one another till the plain was strewn with dead
While the score was kept so even that they neither got ahead
And the Cuff and Collar captain, when he tumbled off to die
Was the last surviving player – so the game was called a tie

Then the captain of the Geebungs raised him slowly from the ground
Though his wounds were mostly mortal, yet he fiercely gazed around
There was no one to oppose him – all the rest were in a trance
So he scrambled for his pony for his last expiring chance
For he meant to make an effort to get victory for his side
So he struck at goal – and missed it – then he tumbled off and died

By the old Campaspe River, where the breezes shake the grass
There’s a row of little gravestones that the stockmen never pass
For they bear a crude inscription saying “Stranger, drop a tear
For the Cuff and Collar players and the Geebung boys lie here”
And on misty moonlit evenings, while the dingoes howl around
You can see their shadow flitting down that phantom polo ground
You can hear the loud collisions as the flying players meet
And the rattle of the mallets and the rush of ponies’ feet
Till the terrified spectator rides like blazes to the pub –
He’s been haunted by the spectres of the Geebung Polo Club

A. B. Paterson 1893