by: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

      ord Hippo suffered fearful loss
      By putting money on a horse
      Which he believed, if it were pressed,
      Would run far faster than the rest:
      For someone who was in the know
      Had confidently told him so.
      But on the morning of the race
      It only took the seventh place!
      Picture the Viscount's great surprise!
      He scarcely could believe his eyes!
      He sought the Individual who
      Had laid him odds at 9 to 2,
      Suggesting as a useful tip
      That they should enter Partnership
      And put to joint account the debt
      Arising from his foolish bet.
      But when the Bookie—oh! my word,
      I only wish you could have heard
      The way he roared he did not think,
      And hoped that they might strike him pink!
      Lord Hippo simply turned and ran
      From this infuriated man.
      Despairing, maddened and distraught
      He utterly collapsed and sought
      His sire, the Earl of Potamus,
      And brokenly addressed him thus:
      "Dread Sire—to-day—at Ascot—I ..."
      His genial parent made reply:
      Come! Come! Come! Come! Don't look so glum!
      Trust your Papa and name the sum....
      WHAT? ... Fifteen hundred thousand?... Hum!
      However ... stiffen up, you wreck;
      Boys will be boys—so here's the cheque!
      Lord Hippo, feeling deeply—well,
      More grateful than he cared to tell—
      Punted the lot on Little Nell:—
      And got a telegram at dinner
      To say that he had backed the Winner!

"Lord Hippo" is reprinted from More Peers. Hilaire Belloc. London: Stephen Swift, 1911.




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