Put out to Pasture

Bringing up the Guns by Harold Power

Put out to Pasture

Once a time, horses were ev’rywhere:
Carrying knights on their scoutings and charges,
Galloping messengers, lancers in battle,
Winding our winches and towing our barges,
Trekking our caravans, herding our cattle,
Ploughing our fields and pulling our drays,
Hauling our minecarts, waggons and hearses,
The Hansom and omnibus, stagecoach and chaise
Were drawn with a mixture of carrots and curses.
Chestnuts and roans and brindles and bays,
Black beauties, piebalds and fleabitten greys.
Rocking our children and hobbying fairs,
Stuffing our cushions and gluing our chairs.

So where are they now ?
They all got replaced by machines in the end,
That can do their jobs better and do their jobs faster –
They’re cheaper to build and are quicker to mend,
And don’t need reminding just who is their master.
The horses can only be worked to the bone,
They try hard, but haven’t the means.
They’ve all been replaced, through no fault of their own –
For who can compete with machines ?
In hindsight, of course, it is always the case:
When a horse must compete with the new iron horse,
Then it’s always a one-horse race.

These day, humans are ev’rywhere –
Building our furniture, stitching our clothes,
Driving our buses and stacking our shelves.
Doing the jobs the majority loathes,
For who else could do it for us but ourselves ?
Builders and farmers and doctors and tutors –
Of course they need humans !  Whyever d’you ask ?
You can’t leave the it down to machines and computers –
It’s not like there’s robots for every task.
We’ll be here for donkey’s years, my dears,
Despite such market forces –
So close up the stable door once more,
We’re all safe as horses !

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