Among the belongings of the late great Irish writer and dramatist Brendan Behan has been discovered a short Romantic poem.
Seemingly, Behan had visited the great Irish jump race meeting at Cheltenham in the spring of 1961 and wrote the poem on the back of a bookie slip that he evidently intended to throw away. It may well have been written by him for his own amusement. It is a parody on the work of William Butler Yeats of whom Behan had no great fondness.
It reads as follows:
"Had I the heavens embroidered spondulicks, I would stick it on the next English fuckin' nag in the next fuckin' Cheltenham race providin' it is odds fuckin' on and has a crooked fuckin' jockey behind its fuckin' ears... because I have not had an honest fuckin' winner all day since I started out on me next hangover.
I have backed many a loser in my sullen way.
And not all of them were fillies.
Valerie and Beatrice stayed the course,
But I never could. They were mares bred for the distance.
I'm more of a sprinter. I see a pub and I sprint.
Too much wisdom... too little sense.
But, If I put a tenner on another Irish fucking 'cert' let it be known, that there is somewhere in a foreign field scrawled on a beaten fuckin' docket the Irish name of an Irish loser... that is forever Ireland.
A... fuckin'... men."