The Dawn Dance
What do you think I saw to-day when I arose at dawn?
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn!
Bobbing here, and bowing there, gossiping away,
And how I wished that you were there to see the merry play!
But you were snug abed, my boy, blankets to your chin,
Nor dreamed of dancing birds without or sunbeams dancing in.
Grey Thrush, he piped the tune for them. I peeped out through the glass
Between the window curtains, and I saw them on the grass -
Merry little fairy folk, dancing up and down,
Blue bonnet, yellow skirt, cloaks of grey and brown,
Underneath the wattle-tree, silver in the dawn,
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn.
On With The Dance!
Hi, Cockalorum! But - Misery me!
What is the aftermath going to be?
With joy at its zenith and sorrow its least,
I am the skeleton come to the feast.
Now the centenary swells over all,
I am the writing aglow on the wall:
Eat, drink and make merry. Eat, drink and make merry.
Hip, hip. Cockahoop! And alack-a-day derry!
I am the spoil-sport a-gnawing his nails,
Boding disaster when merriment fails.
Dance, little lady; oh, dance while you may,
Shout ye, good gentlemen. Merry's the day!
Sorrow is looming.
Hear the far booming.
The ghouls and the ghosts are a-groaning and glooming.
Today for the dancing, the love and the laughter,
But what of the morning after? Aye!
Happy-go-lucky! But - Misery me.
What is the aftermath going to be?
Away with the skeleton! Deep in his grave
Ram him and cram him and make him behave.
We are the merry men, born of the sun;
And this second century, fitly begun
Shall never mark back to follies of eld -
To ills and to errors past centuries held
This is our century, shining and splendid,
When spectres are banished and ill dreams are ended.
Never false fear, as of old, shall bedim it.
There isn't an ending, there isn't a limit
To joy in our gifts that are rained from above.
There isn't a finish to friendship and love -
Love of good laughter, good friends and good living.
There isn't an end to the gain from free giving.
A fig for the pessimist, moaning mumchance!
There isn't an aftermath. On with the dance!
Kisses And The Rhythmic Principle
My dear ladies - that is to say, those of you who may happen inadvertently to glance through this dreadful paper
Most of you, no doubt, have felt impelled, at one time or another, to lightly caper
Round and about a ballroom, clasped in the manly and purely platonic embrace of some intellectual affinity - some male bird of your type.
There comes a period in the lives of all of us when the time for such festive prancing seems deliciously ripe.
Is it not so? Then dance, dear ladies, dance every time you get a chance.
Pray, do not think for a moment that I approve of those incomprehensible persons known as Wowsers.
I object to them on principle. I object to all their works, opinions and prejudices.
But most of all I object to their absurd hats and totally nondescript trousers.
But I digress. Ladies, I am your friend.
And ever shall I sympathetically lend
An ear to your protestations in defence of the polka-mazurka, and the schottische, and the two-step, and the waltz.
To declare that such dances are indelicate is false.
They are not!
Nor is the turkey-trot
A thing of evil.
And, as some would have us believe, an invention of the DEVIL.
Nay, even the cruelly maligned sticking-plaster
Leadeth in no sense to moral disaster
For always remember, ladies, when you are indulging in intricate terpsichorean evolutions, then that unutterably ecstatic bliss you
Experience for the moment is merely an abnormally rapid oxidisation of the mental tissue.
Dear females - diners, tarts, peaches, flappers, bits o' fluff, and perfect ladies,
There are those who will tell you that dancing is a direct importation from Hades.
By making such absurd and obviously idiotic assertions nothing can be gained:
For the whole matter may be scientifically, psychologically and biologically explained.
For instance, we will suppose that you are treading some stately measure
Such as the Gaby-glide - with a partner whose appearance and deportment give you entire pleasure.
And we will suppose
His is emboldened to propose
A subsequent and somewhat surreptitious adjournment to the conservatory -
(You know the old, old story?)
And, being half inclined to agree, you fall to wondering whether mother would really miss you.
Do not hesitate, dear lady. Respond immediately to the extraordinary and not altogether unpleasant oxidisation of the aforesaid tissue.
And now, dear lady,
Having discovered a secluded nook both cool and shady,
It is just possible that your partner may fondly place his arm around you.
Nay, do not let this dumbfound you.
Be not alarmed. No haughty glances, if you please,
For indications such as these
Betray a mind uncultured. If you would act aright,
I pray you, regard the whole matter in a scientific light.
If, for a moment, I thought you failed to recognise the rhythmic principle I should be sorely grieved.
Remember, always remember, my dear lady, that the poor young man's overcharged brain must, at all costs, be relieved.
(For, in the course of my exhaustive researches, I have discovered, after much Labor and infinite pains,
That a very large proportion of dancing men are afflicted with overcharged brains.)
And then, should he, perchance, press you tenderly to his biled shirt, and ultimately kiss you;
No protests, I pray you.
Reflet, again, that this is uncontrovertibly another manifestation of the rapid, not to say furious oxidisation of the aforementioned tissue.
And here, dear lady, endeth my discourse. I have nothing to add except, perhaps, that it would at this point be advisable to return to the ballroom and your maternal relation.
Not, of course, with any idea of snubbing the poor young man with the overcharged
brain; but merely as an ordinary precaution against the possible effects of over-oxidisation.
'Heirlums,' 'e sez. 'I've 'ad the trousiz pressed.
Me father married in 'em, that 'e did.
See this 'ere fancy vest?
See this 'ere lid?
Me gran'dad brought that frum 'is native land
In forty-two-an' then 'twas second-'and.'
Clobber? Oh, 'el! Pants uv wild shepherd's plaid,
A coat that might 'ave knocked the cliners flat
When father was a lad,
A tall, pot 'at
That caught the mange back in the diggin's days,
A fancy vest that called fer loud 'oorays.
But loud 'oorays don't 'arf ixpress my rage
When Danny comes upholstered fer the jig.
I've seen it on the stage,
Rat comic rig;
But never at a country dance before
'Ave I seen sich crook duds as Danny wore.
'You want to crool my scheme,' I sez, 'with rags
Like that? This ain't no fancy dress affair.
Wot sort uv tile an' bags
Is them to wear?
But 'e don't tumble; )e's as pleased as pie.
'By gum,' 'e sez, 'this ort to catch 'er eye.'
'You posin' fer a comic film, or wot?'
I arsts 'im -' with noorotic togs like those!
Jazz clobber! Ain't you got
No decent clo'es?'
But 'e's too tickled with 'imself to 'eed.
'This orter catch 'er eye,' 'e sez, 'this tweed.'
It caught 'er eye, all right, an' many more.
They starts to come before the daylight fades;
An', fer a hour before
The crowd parades,
Ole Danny 'eld the centre uv the stage,
While I stood orf an' chewed me silent rage.
That's 'ow it alwiz is: I try to show
'Ow I can use me bean in deep-laid lurks;
An' then some fool must go
An' bust the works.
'Ere, I 'ave planned a coop in slap-up-style,
An' Danny spikes me guns with gran'pa's tile.
Rose never seemed so free frum ugly dreams,
Not since she came, as that night at the dance;
But my matchmakin' schemes
Makes no advance;
Fer every time I gits a chance to score,
Doreen butts in, an' crools me pitch once more.
Reel thortless, women is. She ort to seen
I 'ad intents - in spite uv Danny's clo'es
An' that 'e was reel keen.
Not 'er. She larfs, an' chatters with the push,
As if rich 'usbands grew on every bush.
Once, f'rinstance, I gits busy when I seen
Rose sittin' out; an' brings Dan on the run.
'Why, mercy!' sez Doreen.
''Ere's Mister Dunn
Perlite enough to arst me fer a dance.
'E knows us marrid ones don't git much chance.'
An' there she grabs 'im, fair out uv me 'ands!
An' lets young Wally Free git off with Rose;
While like a fool I stands,
Kickin' me toes
An' cursin' all the fool things women do.
I'd think 'twas done apurpis, less I knoo.
That's 'ow it was all night. I schemed a treat,
Workin' shrood points, an' sweatin' blood, almost;
But every time I'm beat
Right on the post.
All me matchrnakin's bust - the task uv days
Through Danny's duds an' my wife's tackless ways.
Nice chaperong she is! While Free an' Rose
Dance 'arf the night Doreen jist sits an' beams.
When I seen that, up goes
My 'opes an' schemes.
But all that Danny sez is, 'Stone the crows!
Yeh'd think I'd took 'er eye, with them good clo'es.'
When we git 'ome that night I shows me spleen
By 'intin' Rose will be left on the shelf.
An' then I see Doreen
Smile to 'erself.
'I would n't be su'prised,' she sez, 'to see
Rose marrid, some fine day, to Wally Free.'
To Wally Free! Yeh could 'ave knocked me flat
With 'arf a brick. I seen it in a flash.
A grinnin' coot like that!
Without no cash!
Besides, a man 'oo'd keep a thievin' cow
Like 'is, won't make no 'usband any'ow.
I'm sick uv everything. It ain't no joke.
I've tried to do good works; an' now I've found
When you git 'elpin' folk
They jist turn round
An' bite the 'and that feeds 'em, so to speak.
An' yet they sez the strong should 'elp the weak.
Wot rot! ... I wisht I 'ad some reel ixcuse
To push some face in, jist to ease me mind.
Spike Wegg, 'e 'ad 'is use
'Im an' 'is kind.
If I could give me ole left-'ook one swing,
I might feel kinder like to everything.