November 1 - 7, 2015: Issue 238

  Melbourne Cup Giggles from the Past: Poets Ponder 'Fashions' and 'Favourites'

 THE FASHIONABLE FLEMINGTON CARNIVAL. (1897, October 28). Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 - 1900), p. 12. Retrieved from 


As time goes by, it seems to us,
The horses all attract us less;  
We're more inclined to make a FUSS
About the ladies and their dress.

And in no very distant year
The racers will not count a bit
The Melbourne Cup will go to her
Whose dress is best tor style and fit.

The interest will be just as now,
The crowd will yell, the bookies roar,
And man (who's bound to bet somehow)
Will back his fancy as of yore.

The judge will scan each dame and miss,
Be-ribboned, powdered, crimped and curled,
And proud will be the belle of this
The greatest "cake walk" of the world!
THE FASHIONABLE FLEMINGTON CARNIVAL. (1897, October 28). Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 - 1900), p. 12. Retrieved from 

How the Melbourne Cup Was Won.
In the beams of a beautiful day,
Made soft by a breeze from the sea,
The horses were started away —
The fleet-footed thirty - and- three !
Where beauty with shining attire
Shed more than a noon on the land,
Like spirits of thunder and fire
They flashed by the fence and the Stand.

And the mouths of pale thousands were hushed,
When Somnus, a marvel of strength,
Past Bowes like a sudden wind rushed,
And led the bay colt by a length.
But a chestnut came galloping through;  
And down where the river- tide steals,
O'Brien, on brave Waterloo,
Dashed up to the big horse's heels.

But Cracknell still kept to the fore
And first by the water-bend wheeled,
Where a cry from the Stands and a roar
Ran over green furlongs of field.
For out by the back of the course —
A demon of muscle and pluck —
Flashed onward the favourite horse,
With his hoofs flaming clear of the ruck.

But the wonderful Queenslander came,
And the thundering leaders were three ;
And a ring and a roll of acclaim
Went out like a surge of the sea!  
"An Epigram— Epigram wins" —    
"The colt of the Derby " — "the bay!"      
But back where the crescent begins
The favourite melted away.

And the marvel that came from the North,
With another, was heavily thrown;
And here at the turning flashed forth
To the front a surprising unknown.
By shed and by paddock and gate,
The strange the magnificent black
Led Darebin a length in "the straight":  
With thirty and one at his back.

But the Derby colt tired at the rails,
And Ivory's marvellous bay
Passed Burton, O'Brien, and Hales,
As fleet as a flash of the day.
But Gough on the Africa's star
Came clear in the front of his "field,"  
Hard followed by Morrison's Czar,
And the blood unaccustomed to yield.

Yea, first from the turn to the end,
With a boy on him paler than ghost,
The horse that had hardly a friend
Shot flashing like fire by the post.
When Graham was "riding" 'twas late,    
For his friends to applaud on the stands,
The black, through the bend and the "straight,"  
Had the race of the year in his hands.

In a clamor of calls and acclaim,
He landed the money — the horse,
With the beautiful African name
That rang to the back of the course.
Hurrah for the Hercules' race,
And the terror that came from his stall,
With the bright— the intelligent face
To show the road home to them all!
Henry Kendall.
How the Melbourne Cup Was Won. (1881, November 26). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 897. Retrieved from 


THE flag is lowered, the start is made,
And colours there of every shade
Far in the distance quickly fade
In this race for the Melbourne Cup.

Bookmakers there most anxious wait;
Some standing by, with looks sedate,
While the faces of others show hope elate.
Yes, they're sure to win on the Cup.

The stand, full of men both fast and slow,
Seems but one universal row
Of field-glasses bright., above, below,
All intent on the race for the Cup.

And the hill crowded over an hundred deep ;
Each youth has-gone-into a half-crown sweep,
While some quite reckless have gone in deep,
And invested "ten bob " on the Cup.

But all on this race are not so intent:
There's NIGEL and ANNIE : their footsteps have bent
Away towards the spacious refreshment-tent—
Nought they care about who wins the Cup.

But gazing so sweetly in each other's eyes,
With their converse so thickly mingled with sighs,
Ne'er heeding the shouts which outside arise,
As the horses rush home for the Cup.

For now they are running right into the straight,
Circassian and Strop cannot carry the weight,
And Traverton puts on his spurt far too late,
For Palmerston's first for the Cup.

But soft—for right closely upon his track,
I see the colours bright, rose and black—
Give up, good Palmerston, for you may whack
And whack, but you won't win the Cup.

For though it wound many, ay, right to their quicks,
Though some may lose largely, aye, lose big licks,'
Young Charon, the Ferryman of the Styx,
Succeeds in winning the Cup.
ANOTHER TIP FOR THE CUP. (1869, November 4). Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 - 1900), p. 4. Retrieved from