Young man about to marry,
Don't hesitate, I pray;
No need for you to tarry
If you can only stay.
So let it be your prayer
That you can see it out;
For, if you are a stayer
You'll win to bliss, no doubt.
Tho' she may nag and scold you,
And drive you mad at first,
Let this bright thought uphold you;
The first twelve years are worst.
One idle hour she sought to see
Whose image 'twas he cherished so
(All fondly certain whose 'twould be),
And found - a girl she did not know.
A trusty maiden's modest face,
All innocence and purity.
'What nun is this that fills my place?
Alas, he loves me not!' sighed she.
'Nay, daughter, let no foolish fears
Your trust in his devotion mar,'
Her mother said. 'Come, dry your tears;
That is the girl he thinks you are.'
All fondly curious with love
(Half guessing what he would lay bare)
He rifled her heart's treasure trove,
And found - a stranger's image there.
'This is the man she loves!' said he,
And, searching in the noble face,
Read high resolve and constancy.
'This saint,' he cried, 'usurps my place!'
'Nay,' spake his friend. 'Your anger cool;
Gaze on that God-like face once more:
Then be satisfied, O fool;
That is the man she takes you for.'
A lonely soul . . . According to her lights
She has lived on, mid all our worldly strife,
Thro' that procession of mad days and nights
That most men lay to waste, and call it life.
And men have smiled a little, too, may be,
At what they deem her eccentricity.
'This have we done, and this,' the proud souls cry;
'In pomp and pageantry vast riches spent,
Builded cathedrals yearning to the sky,
And scattered gold for God's aggrandisement,
That we may be immortalised on earth
In monuments to our undying worth.
'This we have done, and this; for we were just;
Captained great armies for the Lord of Hosts,
Left erring brothers bleeding in the dust,
Our enemies - and His. The worldling boasts;
And, boasting, dies to seek a meek reward
From a remote and half-envisioned Lord.'
A lonely woman in an empty church
Upholding faith with humble prayer and song. . . .
Oh, that we groundlings had the eyes to search
And find - not emptiness, but here a throng
Invisible. Poor prideful minds, 'tis we
Who know earth's bitter loneliness - not she.
The Faith Of Old George Jones
War raged around this troubled world,
When I was but a lad,
And into battle men were hurled,
As some ambition mad
Moved kings on their unstable thrones
To bring the world unease.
Mad days, I'll grant (said old George Jones),
But not as mad as these.
They fought for power, fought for gain,
For land and plunder then;
They fought for ends that they made plain
And understood of men.
But in this strangely restless age,
And this world's changing scene,
Men fight and die while nations rage,
For visions half unseen.
They fight for theories untried,
Ideals, untested creeds,
And seek their ends thro' fratricide,
While hate's rank passion breeds.
On this red soil . . . Must I, a man
Unlettered, pierce the mist,
And bind myself so to some strange plan
Fascist or Socialist?
I am a man. It is enough.
I ply a peaceful trade.
What should I know of this queer stuff
Of which their dreams are made?
Small is the wisdom mankind owns,
But, as his knowledge grows,
It seems to me (said old George Jones),
His hard-won wisdom goes.
The Faith Of Old George Jones 
Long faces, hangin' lips an' eyes without a smile,
Meegrims an' mulligrubs, mournfulness an' moans,
Faith in the future gone to glory for the while
I've seen it all a score o' times (said old George Jones).
I seen it all a year ago, if you will but recall:
I scoffed at it an' laughed at it while you was sittin' mum,
An' now a little twelve months has gone an' changed it all
Hard times is heavy, but the good times come.
See-saw, up an' down, life's like that,
Tho' memories is short like, an' men don't heed;
But have a bit of grey stuff beneath yer ole brown hat
An' sit a while an' think a bit - that's what men need.
Think a bit of yesterday an' what you used to be
Peerin' in the future with a sick, sad eye.
Well, here's a bit of future, it ain't such misery;
An' there's heaps more a'comin' in the sweet by-an'-by.
Hard times is heavy, but the good times come
See-saw, up an' down, life's like that.
I told you so a-yesterday when you was sittin' mum;
I'm tellin' you again today when times grow fat.
So, what's the use of playin' at the pessimistic trade
Meegrims an' mulligrubs, mournfulness an' moans?
Faith in the future, it has never been betrayed,
I've proved it all a score o' times (said old George Jones).
War's End Armistice Day 1935
Greyer and older, still they stand
Wearier, quieter, still they pray;
Men who had offered their all to a land.
And their thoughts run back to an olden day
When Youth sailed gallantly, gaily forth
Romance for King, and faith to the fore
To the older, bitterer lands of the north,
To battle, that men might end all war.
Ageing Diggers, grown wiser now,
Again they are dreaming before their shrine
Of the long-gone day when they made the vow
With hearts uplifted, and eyes a-shine.
And thro' their dreaming there drifts to-day
A newer note and a sad refrain,
As their thoughts return to that bitter fray:
'Was it all in vain? Was it all in vain?'
Soberer, sterner, still they hear
Endless thunder of vengeful guns
Echoing out of a long dead year.
And, 'God,' they pray, 'must these our sons
Learn over again all we'd fain forget?
Buy over again their need of peace
Live over again worse madness yet?
Is earth's grim agony never to cease?'
Ageing Diggers before their shrine:
'Is there never a respite, no release?
We who have suffered look for a sign.
Is there never a hope for a lasting peace?
We who have known it all before:
The madness, agony, needless pain
We who once battled to end all war
Was it all in vain? Was it all in vain?'
Oh, we are the phantoms of rovers lost
See how the mocking mirages play!
Men who have ventured and paid the cost.
Lone, waiting women, 'tis vain to pray!
We dies unshriven, as rovers die,
And no man knows where our white bones lie.
Black birds gather when rovers stray,
Out where the mocking mirages play.
A maiden has waited a long year thro'.
Mark where a crow from the northward flies!
'Ah, can he be false that had sworn so true?'
They say that a wanderer woos with lies.
A maiden has waited and counted the days,
Since a lover went roving the northward ways.
What do they profit - unheeded sighs?
Mark where a crow from the northward flies!
Out in the desert a still thing lies.
Westward the sun is sinking low.
Who is to mourn when a rover dies?
Hark! 'Tis the caw of a sated crow.
Who is to tell of a mad'ning thrist
Of a lonely death in a land accurst?
Merciful God! Is she ne'er to know?
(Hark to the caw of a sated crow.)
Oh, we are the legion that never came back
Ever have rovers to count the cost.
Men who went out on the waterless track.
Curst is the plain that was ne'er recross'd!
Restless to roam o'er the desert our doom,
Till our end shall be known and our bones find a tomb.
Mourn for the souls of wanderers lost,
Ever have rovers to count the cost.
On The Road To Jericho
On the road to Jericho
Mark the stricken one,
Moaning in his agony,
Prone beneath the sun.
Prone beneath the blazing sun,
Naked and alone,
Bleeding from a score of wounds,
Stricken to the bone.
Now his tossing arms lie still;
Now his moans grow faint.
Is there none to succor him
Publican or saint?
Publican or Pharisee
Are none passing by
On the road to Jericho
Is he left to die?
On the road to Jericho
Hurry, hurry, priest!
'Twere a sin wert thou away
From the saintly feast.
Haste thee, Levite, tarry not.
At the Temple waits
Holy work for thee to do;
Haste thee to the gates.
God will guard the stricken one.
Leave it all to Him.
(Now the blood dries on his wouds.
Now his eyes grow dim.)
Yet - ah tell it! Save the shame -
Save the name of Man!
On the road to Jericho
On the road to Jericho -
'Voices call 'Make way!
See, the Bishop's carriage comes;
He's in haste to-day.
He's in haste to tend a Prince.
Let the good man through,
He is lordly; he is rich . . .
Not like me or you.
He'll 'consider' your appeal.
He's no time to waste!'
O, despised Samaritan,
Haste thee hither, haste!
Priest and Levite pass along,
Bishops go their ways,
On the road to Jericho
As in olden days.
Home's best (she said), and the tale
Of the hungering soil and the flail
Of the sun and the shuddering threat
Of the heat, and more heat yet;
Of more than a woman can stand,
Almost, in that merciless land,
With its lifelong, lingering strife,
For the Mallee mother and wife.
Oh, I've seen all the spurious zest
Of the city, and yet, home's best;
The sweep of the plain's vast verge,
And the calling of Life and the urge
To struggle and hope in vain,
Then struggle and hope again
That, and the faith that clings
For the solving of human things.
Home's best (she said). I have seen
The glamor of cities, the sheen
Of the silken garments rare
And they spell for me despair;
Despair for the woman who cleaves
To luxury's yellowing leaves
Despair for the weakening race,
Who, faltering, fall from grace.
Life, as I know it is stern;
And the seed of my seed must learn
That nothing has life to give
Save a man must labor to live
Struggle and ache and toil
For the gifts that come of the soil,
Since every treasure of worth
Comes of the hard, kind earth.
Home's best (she said), and the dust
And the finger of God out-thrust,
Saying, 'You toil, or die
Under this pitiless sky.'
Even as long since said
To the Parents of Man long dead;
Even as 'twas decreed
In Man's first, passionate need.
Home's best. For what do they know,
Who cleave to glitter and show,
And strive in a strange excess
Of pleasure for happiness?
What do they know of worth
Of the secret lure of the earth,
And the peace, and the exquisite ache of the battle
For my man's sake?
Old Town Types No. 10 - Big Doc Littlejohn
Big Doc. Littlejohn, and ugly man and tall,
He wasn't very graceful, no part of him was small;
Big, frame, big head, huge hands, and red;
But gentle as a woman's as he stooped above the bed,
His great voice muted and the jaw out-thrust
And something there behind his eyes that captured human trust -
Big John Littlejohn, who drove until he died,
In his abbot buggy to the farms outside.
The family physician and the family's true friend;
No household in that wide, new land but loved him to the end;
And the old, fat midwife revered him as a saint:
'Sent straight from God, me dear,' says she. 'A human man she ain't.
No human flesh could bear it, no heart withstand the test,
The slavin', drivin', day an' night with no full hour of rest.'
But Big John Littlejohn, with one of his tired smiles,
Climbed in his abbot buggy for another seven miles.
He'd never met a vitamin, he seldom sought a knife;
But he healed full many a body and he saved full many a life.
For ten years, for twenty years, for forty years he toiled
His aid unstinted and his heart unspoiled,
The friend of rich and poor alike, at everybody's call
For large fee, for small fee, or no fee at all,
In his old abbot buggy, with his wind-blown hair,
Rushing to another case behind his bay blood mare.
They found him on one winter dawn, low-huddled in the seat
Of the old abbot buggy, with the rug about his feet;
The great frame at rest at last, the mind rid of its load,
While the blood mare nibbled at the grass beside the road.
And the sad folk who found him there, before ought else, they say,
First knelt them in the roadside mud and bent their heads to pray
For great John Littlejohn, the grey man and kind,
The healer and the friend, who left not wealth nor foe behind.
For them we have builded a temple
To stand as a visible sign.
For them we have builded a temple,
And set in its great heart a shrine.
Ere the dull years shall tarnish their story,
While the spirit bides close to us yet,
We have set up a shrine to their glory,
Lest men should forget.
We have raised upa visible temple,
Hewn from impermanent stone;
And the spirit shall dwell in the temple;
Yet not in the temple alone.
Lest the spirit of that great oblation,
Eternal, transcending all pride,
Dwell, too, in the heart of their nation,
In vain they have died.
For a holier place has enshrined them
From treacherous time's swift decay:
A temple more hallowed has held them
Inviolate unto today.
But the friends of their friends, too, shall perish,
The seed of their seed shall grow old,
While for ever the flame that these cherish
A nation must hold.
So soon do their feet grow aweary
Of treading where glory had birth,
So soon do their souls grow aweary
Of transient things of the earth.
And they go to the great consummating,
The goal of their pilgrimage won,
To triumphant battalions awaiting
They drift one by one.
When the last tired veteran totters
From this, fame's unstable abode;
When the last tired footfall has echoed
And died in the dust of the road;
Tho' they boast down the years of his story,
If the spirit he left us shall fail
No shrine may envision that glory
No temple avail.
We have builded a visible temple;
We have set us a tangible sign
For a symbol of that truer temple,
A mark of that holier shrine;
And nought of war's long tarnished story
Dwells there, not of pride nor of pain,
But all that remains of their glory
Who died not in vain.
When The Sun's Behind The Hill
There's a soft and peaceful feeling
Comes across the farming hand
As the shadows go a-stealing
Slow along the new-turned land.
The lazy curling smoke above the thatch is showing blue,
And the weary old plough horses wander homeward two 'n' two,
With their chains a'clinkin', clankin', when their daily toil is through,
And the sun's behind the hill.
Then it's slowly homeward plodding
As the night begins to creep,
And the barley grass is nodding
To the daisies, all asleep,
The crows are flying heavily, and cawing overhead;
The sleepy milking cows are lowing sof'ly in the shed,
And above them, in the rafters, all the fowls have gone to bed,
When the sun's behind the hill.
Then it's 'Harry, feed old Roaney!'
And it's 'Bill, put up the rail!'
And it's 'Tom, turn out the pony!'
'Mary, hurry with the pail!'
And the kiddies run to meet us, and are begging for a ride
On the broad old 'Prince' and 'Darkey' they can hardly sit astride;
And mother, she is bustling with the supper things inside,
When the sun's behind the hill.
Then it's sitting down and yarning
When we've had our bite and sup,
And the mother takes her darning,
And Bess tells how the baldy cow got tangled in the wire,
And Katie keeps the baby-boy from tumbling in the fire;
And the baccy smoke goes curling as I suck my soothing briar,
When the sun's behind the hill.
And we talk about the season,
And of how it's turning out,
And we try to guess the reason
For the long-continued drought,
Oh! a farmer's life ain't roses and his work is never done:
And a job's no sooner over than another is begun.
For he's toiling late and early from the rising of the sun
Till he sinks behind the hill.
But it grows, that peaceful feeling
While I'm sitting smoking there,
And the kiddies all are kneeling
To repeat their ev'ning prayer;
For it seems, somehow, to lighten all the care that must be bore
When the things of life are worrying, and times are troubling sore;
And I pray that God will keep them when my own long-day is o'er,
And the sun's behind the hill.
Come Ye Home
Listening (said the old, grey Digger) . . .
With my finger on the trigger
I was listening in the trenches on a dark night long ago,
And a lull came in the fighting,
Save a sudden gun-flash lighting
Some black verge. And I fell thinking of lost mates I used to know.
Listening, waiting, stern watch keeping,
I heard little whispers creeping
In from where, 'mid fair fields tortured, No-man's land loomed out before.
And well I knew good mates were lying
There, grim-faced and death-defying,
In that filth and noisome litter and the horror that was war.
List'ning so, a mood came o'er me;
And 'twas like a vision bore me
To a deeper, lonelier darkness where the souls of dead men roam;
Where they wander, strife unheading;
And I heard a wistful pleading
Down the lanes where lost men journey: 'Come ye home! Ah, come ye home!'
'Ye who fail, yet triumph failing'
Ye who fall, yet falling soar
Into realms where, brother hailing
Brother, bids farewell to war;
Ye for whom this red hell ended,
With the last great, shuddering breath.
In the mute, uncomprehended,
Dreamful dignity of death;
Back to your own land's sweet breast
Come ye home, lads - home to rest.'
Listening in my old bush shanty
(Said grey Digger) living's scanty
These dark days for won-out soldiers and I'd not the luck of some
But from out the ether coming
I could hear a vast crowd's humming
Hear the singing, then - the Silence. And I knew the Hour had come.
Listening, silent as I waited,
And the picture recreated,
I could see the kneeling thousands by the Shrine's approaches there.
Then, above those heads low-bending,
Like an orison ascending,
Saw a multitude's great yearning rise into the quivering air.
Listening so, again the seeming
Of a vision came; and dreaming
There, I saw from out high Heaven spread above the great Shrine's dome,
From the wide skies overarching
I beheld battalions marching -
Mates of mine! My comrades, singing: Coming home! Coming home!
'We who bore the cost of glory,
We who paid the price of peace,
Now that, from this earth, war's story
Shall, please God, for ever cease,
To this Shrine that you have lifted
For a symbol and a sign
Of men's hearts, come we who drifted
Thro' long years, oh, mates of mine!
To earth, my brothers' grieving blest
Now come we home, lads - home to rest.'
The Little Homes
We have heard the cheering, brothers,
We have heard the martial peal;
We have seen the soldiers marching
And the glint of sun and steel.
We have heard the songs, the shouting;
But, while forth the soldier roams,
Who has heard the weeping, brothers,
In the Little Homes?
We have seen the gay processions
And the careless, laughing crowds.;
We have seen the banners waving
Out against the peaceful clouds;
Yet, while colors proudly flutter
Over noble spires and domes,
Who has seen the mourning, brothers,
In the Little Homes?
From the Little Homes that nestle
Where the smiling fields sweep wide,
From the Little Homes that huddle
In the city, side by side,
They have called the eager fighters
Men who went with smiles and cheers;
Pride of wives and pride of mothers,
Choking back the tears!
Women of the little homesteads,
Women of the city slums,
They are waiting, ever waiting;
And the sound of muffled drums
In some stricken Home is echoed,
Where grey Grief is guest to-day.
And to-morrow? Nay, the others
Still must wait - and pray.
What the Little Homes shall suffer,
What the Little Homes shall pay
Must be more than sturdy fighters,
More than women's grief to-day.
In the years that follow after,
Be our battles won or lost,
In the Little Homes, my brothers,
They shall pay the cost.
They shall pay the cost of glory,
They shall pay the price of peace,
Years and many long years after
All the sounds of battle cease.
When the sword is sheathed - or broken
When the battle flag is furled,
Still the Little Homes must suffer
Over all the World.
Have you seen the old grey mothers
Smiling to the ringing cheers?
Have you seen the young wives striving
Bravely to hold back the tears?
Have you seen the young girl marching
By her soldier-lover's side?
Have you, seen our country's women
All aglow with pride?
Then, shall we think shame, my brothers,
To give thanks upon our knees
That the land we love should hold them
Wives and mothers such as these?
Women who still hide their sorrow
As their soldiers march away,
Turning brave and steadfast faces
To the light of day?
Oh, the Little Homes are Cheerful
Little Homes that know no pride
But the pride of sacrificing
Loved ones to the battle tide!
They are many, many brothers,
And their sacrifice is great.
Shrines are they and sacred places,
Where the women wait.
Aye, the Little Homes are holy
At the closing of the day,
When young wives must face their sorrow,
When grey mothers kneel to pray,
Facing, all alone, dread visions
Of the land the soldier roams,
Then God heed the sobbing, brothers,
In the Little Homes.
The Reaper In The Bush
He was lyin' on his bunk,
In the hut behind the mill,
Ravin' like a man wild drunk,
Never silent, never still,
'Best go in an' say Good bye,'
Says old Blair. 'He's got to die.'
God! I never want to see
Any face so wrung with pain,
Nor to hear such blasphemy
Ever in my life again.
White he was, an' starey-eyed,
With his hand pressed to his side.
'Now he raves,' says Daddy Pike.
'He ain't wise to what he says
Never have I heard the like
All me wicked livin' days.'
'Raise him up a bit,' says Blair.
'Put that pillow under there.
'Raise him. . . . There now, easy, lad.
Turn a little - gently - so.
You'll not feel it near so bad. . . .
Painin'? Yes, I know, I know.
Yes, old man; it's Blair, your friend. . . .
(Boys, he's very near the end.')
Soon a saner, calmer look
Came in Murray's strainin' eyes.
Though his body heaved an' shook,
He held back his awful cries
Till another wave of pain
Gripped him, an' he shrieked again.
'Christ!' he called. 'O, Christ, the pain!
Boys, you know I ain't a funk.'
Still he took the Name in vain,
Writhin' there upon his bunk.
'Do you call him?' says old Blair.
Pointin' upward. 'He is there.'
'Blair!' he gasps. 'Do you believe?
Such as me! Is there a chance?'
'Easy, Murray. Don't you grieve.
You ain't worth a single glance
Save of pity from His eye.
Laddie, pray before you die.'
'God! I'm frightened, Blair!' says he . . .
'Boys, you know I never whined. . . .
Where's the hope for one like me?
I ain't no hymn-singin' kind.'
There was pleadin' in his glance:
'Blair,' says he, 'is there a chance?'
Old Bob Blair reached for his hand.
'Chance there is, an' certainty.
Try to think an' understand.
Nothin's There to fear,' says he.
'Him, the Merciful, the Mild,
Think ye He would strike a child?
'Think ye that he put you here,
Gave you labour, gave you pain,
So your end should be fear
That you plead to Him in vain?
Nay, dear laddie, while you've breath,
Live in hope, an' smile on death.'
With a hard hand, woman-kind,
He pushed back the sweaty hair.
'Now then, laddie, ease your mind,
Pain will end for you out There. . . .'
An' the smile on Blair's rough face
Was a blessin' an' a grace.
'God!' says Ben, 'You are a friend:
Friend, old man, an' father too.
Hold my hand right to the end
They'll take notice There of you. . . .
Good-bye, Jim, an' Dusty Dick,
Simon, Pike. . . .I'm goin' - quick.'
With his eyes shut tight he lay,
His breath comin' in great sobs.
An' his poor lips seemed to pray,
As his hand held fast to Bob's. . . .
Now his sobs an' prayin' cease.
Says old Blair, 'God give him peace!
'Give him peace!' sighed old Bob Blair,
As he rose beside the dead.
But I caught his wistful stare,
An' the muttered words he said:
'God,' he prayed - 'if one there be -
Give such faith an' peace to me.'
A Song Of Rain
Because a little vagrant wind veered south from China Sea;
Or else, because a sun-spot stirred; and yet again, maybe
Because some idle god in play breathed on an errant cloud,
The heads of twice two million folk in gratitude are bowed.
Patter, patter… Boolconmatta,
Adelaide and Oodnadatta,
Pepegoona, parched and dry
Laugh beneath a dripping sky.
Riverina's thirsting plain
Knows the benison of rain.
Ararat and Arkaroola
Render thanks with Tantanoola
For the blessings they are gaining,
And it's raining - raining - raining!
Because a heaven-sent monsoon the mists before it drove;
Because things happened in the moon; or else, because High Jove,
Unbending, played at waterman to please a laughing boy,
The hearts through all a continent are raised in grateful joy.
Weeps the sky at Wipipee
Far Farina's folk are dippy
With sheer joy, while Ballarat
Shouts and flings aloft its hat.
Thirsty Thackaringa yells;
Taltabooka gladly tells
Of a season wet and windy;
Men rejoice on Murrindindie;
Kalioota's ceased complaining;
For it's raining - raining - raining!
Because a poor bush parson prayed an altruistic prayer,
Rich with unselfish fellow-love that Heaven counted rare;
And yet, mayhap, because one night a meteor was hurled
Across the everlasting blue, the luck was with our world.
On the wilds of Winininnie
Cattle low and horses whinny,
Frolicking with sheer delight.
From Beltana to The Bight,
In the Mallee's sun-scorched towns,
In the sheds on Darling Downs,
In the huts at Yudnapinna,
Tents on Tidnacoordininna,
To the sky all heads are craning
For it's raining - raining - raining!
Because some strange, cyclonic thing has happened - God knows where
Men dream again of easy days, of cash to spend and spare.
The ring fair Clara coveted, Belinda's furs are nigh,
As clerklings watch their increments fall shining from the sky.
Rolls the thunder at Eudunda;
Leongatha, Boort, Kapunda
Send a joyous message down;
Sorrows, flooded, sink and drown.
Ninkerloo and Nerim South
Hail the breaking of the drouth;
From Toolangi's wooded mountains
Sounds the song of plashing fountains;
Sovereign Summer's might is waning;
It is raining - raining - raining!
Because the breeze blew sou'-by-east across the China Sea;
Or else, because the thing was willed through all eternity
By gods that rule the rushing stars, or gods long aeons dead,
The earth is made to smile again, and living things are fed.
Mile on mile from Mallacoota
Runs the news, and far Baroota
Speeds it over hill and plain,
Till the slogan of the rain
Rolls afar to Yankalilla;
Wallaroo and Wirrawilla
Shout it o'er the leagues between,
Telling of the dawning green.
Frogs at Cocoroc are croaking,
Booboorowie soil is soaking,
Oodla Wirra, Orroroo
Breathe relief and hope anew.
Wycheproof and Wollongong
Catch the burden of the song
That is rolling, rolling ever
O'er the plains of Never Never,
Sounding in each mountain rill,
Echoing from hill to hill…
In the lonely, silent places
Men lift up their glad, wet faces,
And their thanks ask no explaining
It is raining - raining - raining!
Dear friends, I'm Deakin....
No; no mistake,
You're wide awake.
It's ALF that's speakin'...
I wish to make
A few remarks about - Eh? What,
O, no; I'm not
The least bit changed.
It's been arranged -
Between these gentlemen and me.
We fused, you see,
For the - er - welfare of the land....
Come, gentlemen! I do insist
I am the same!
I'm DEAKIN, the Protectionist.
And I declare I'm not to blame.
There never has been any change in me.
It's all arranged.... We fused, you see.
No harm to fuse.
And I am certain you'll excuse
Us all, when once you fairly grasp the fact
That this arrangement is a patriot's act.
'Twas neither somersault nor slip;
Yes, yes. Joe Cook
And others took
As I allege,
Henceforth to vote Protection to a man....
Well, yes; they ran
Freetrade - some years ago;
But they won't advocate it now. Oh, no!...
I say again I've not changed in the least.
I leave that all to them.
Their love for the - er - tariff has increased.
What? Wobblers? Nay!
Ah, do not blame them, pray!
These gentlemen are neither false nor weak;
But my good friends.
And they will make amends.
A light has broken on them, so to speak.
They're all - er - fiscal converts as it were....
Now, my dear sir!
If you will interject
Time and again,
How can the audience expect
Me to explain?...
I tell you I've NOT changed!
It's ALL ARRANGED!
Why, ever since I've been in politics
I've always advocated the - um - er ...
What nonsense! Sir!!
I challenge you to prove my policy
Has ever been... Well, yes,
Yes, I confess
I used to call them names. But, don't you see,
That is a thing of ancient history....
I tell you it has now all been arranged!
And I've not changed!...
O, well, well, I admit
I did abuse them - just a little bit.
'The wreckage of all parties' - That was it.
'Black Labor party' - yes, and 'Tories,' too.
I said that; true.
But can't you see? I ask you, please, to try.
They've changed, not I.
They've had a wash;
They've all been made
Whiter than snow ( I'm sure you understand):
And henceforth Anti-Sosh,
And not Freetrade,
Will be their party brand.
But, to return to my....Eh? Who's that speakin'?
I tell you I am Deakin!
Who dares to say I'm not?
I am the same brave, whole-souled patriot!
Iam! I AM!
if you will interject... O, d--!....
Er - gentlemen...I'd have you understand
We are a band
Of staunch Protectionists. If it appears
A trifle strange
That, after all these years,
These gentlemen should change,
I ask you, gentlemen, to please excuse
You comprehend? I wave my magic wand,
And they respond
By bowing meekly to my fiscal creed.
Nay, nay! No Greed
For Office caused this unaccustomed sight.
'Twas...Country-love and - er - a Sudden Light.
These friends of mine have all come into line,
And, after this, their fiscal faith is mine -
That is...I mean to say
That mine is theirs until the Judgement Day.
I trust, good people, I have made it plain....
No, no; my friends will never change again....
I tell you, with my hand upon my heart,
They would no more trick me than, for my part, I'd ever do
So false an act, or think of tricking...you.
The Mooch O' Life
This ev'nin' I was sittin' wiv Doreen,
Peaceful an' 'appy wiv the day's work done,
Watchin', be'ind the orchard's bonzer green,
The flamin' wonder of the settin' sun.
Another day gone by; another night
Creepin' along to douse Day's golden light;
Another dawning when the night is gone,
To live an' love - an' so life mooches on.
Times I 'ave thought, when things was goin' crook,
When 'Ope turned nark an' Love forgot to smile,
Of somethin' I once seen in some old book
Where an ole sorehead arsts, 'Is life worf w'ile? '
But in that stillness, as the day grows dim,
An' I am sittin' there wiv 'er an' 'im-
My wife, my son! an' strength in me to strive,
I only know - it's good to be alive!
Yeh live, yeh love, yeh learn; an' when yeh come
To square the ledger in some thortful hour,
The everlastin' answer to the sum
Must allus be, 'Where's sense in gittin' sour? '
Fer when yeh've come to weigh the good an' bad -
The gladness wiv the sadness you 'ave 'ad -
Then 'im 'oo's faith in 'uman goodness fails
Fergits to put 'is liver in the scales.
Livin' an' loving learnin' day be day;
Pausin' a minute in the barmy strife
To find that 'elpin' others on the way
Is gold coined fer your profit - sich is life.
I've studied books wiv yearnings to improve,
To 'eave meself out of me lowly groove,
An' 'ere is orl the change I ever got:
''Ark at yer 'eart, an' you kin learn the lot.'
I gives it in - that wisdom o' the mind -
I wasn't built to play no lofty part.
Orl such is welkim to the joys they find;
I only know the wisdom o' the 'eart.
An' ever it 'as taught me, day be day,
The one same lesson in the same ole way:
'Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
Fer 'atin' never paid no dividends.'
Life's wot yeh make it; an' the bloke 'oo tries
To grab the shinin' stars frum out the skies
Goes crook on life, an' calls the world a cheat,
An' tramples on the daisies at 'is feet.
But when the moon comes creepin' o'er the hill,
An' when the mopoke calls along the creek,
I takes me cup o' joy an' drinks me fill,
An' arsts meself wot better could I seek.
An' ev'ry song I 'ear the thrushes sing
That everlastin' message seems to bring;
An' ev'ry wind that whispers in the trees
Gives me the tip there ain't no joys like these:
Livin' an' loving wand'rin' on yeh way;
Reapin' the 'arvest of a kind deed done;
An' watching in the sundown of yer day,
Yerself again, grown nobler in yer son.
Knowin' that ev'ry coin o' kindness spent
Bears interest in yer 'eart at cent per cent;
Measurin' wisdom by the peace it brings
To simple minds that values simple things.
An' when I take a look along the way
That I 'ave trod, it seems the man knows best,
Who's met wiv slabs of sorrer in 'is day,
When 'e is truly rich an' truly blest.
An' I am rich, becos me eyes 'ave seen
The lovelight in the eyes of my Doreen;
An' I am blest, becos me feet 'ave trod
A land 'oo's fields reflect the smile o' God.
Livin' an' lovin'; learnin' to fergive
The deeds an' words of some un'appy bloke
Who's missed the bus - so 'ave I come to live,
An' take the 'ole mad world as 'arf a joke.
Sittin' at ev'nin' in this sunset-land,
Wiv 'Er in all the World to 'old me 'and,
A son, to bear me name when I am gone....
Livin' an' lovin' - so life mooches on.
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.
The Disillusioned Fuse
Beneath a lamp in Spring-street, on a recent calm spring night,
I came unwittingly upon a most pathetic sight;
A sorry spectacle of woe - a limp, despondent Bloke
Who leaned against a post and sobbed and said his heart was broke!
'I've lorst me trust in 'uman men; I've done me dash ter-day;
Fer my own cobber's done me in, and guv me game away!'
'Nay, nay,' said I, 'cheer up, good Bloke. The prospect may look blue;
But Fate is wont to deal hard knocks to folk like me and you.
Remember, men have fought and won an uphill fight before,
Pray, tell me what's befallen you that you should grieve so sore.
Say, has your wife deserted you, or have you lost your tin?'
But still the Bloke said bitterly: 'Me cobber's done me in!'
'Me moniker's Deakook,' he said, 'but blokes calls me 'The Fuse.'
(Oh, 'struth! I nearly dropped me bundle when I 'eard the noos!)
I gets a job o' work to do - a real soft cop it wus,
With no foreman over me ter see 'ow much I does,
Excep' some coves they calls the Press - a noisy sorter crew
Thet allus nags an' growls at yer no matter watcher do.
'Some wanted this, some wanted that, an' uvers wanted bofe.
Thinks I, 'Between 'em all it's up ter me ter do a loaf.'
So I jus' took ter sittin' round all day an' crackin' jokes,
An' dealin' out a bit o' stoush ter Opposition blokes.
There wus a press cove called the HAGE took ter me frum the first;
But blimey' - (Here the poor Bloke sobbed as though his heart would burst.)
'Yuss, frum the first 'e took ter me, an' we wus goin' fine,
Until I come ter look on 'im as quite a pal o' mine.
Fer when 'e sez, 'You'll 'ave ter graft on this 'ere job, yer know,'
I winks an' murmurs 'Dicken,' an' 'e winks an' sez 'Righto!'
An' when I jus' perten's ter graft 'e cracks 'e doesn't see;
So I jus' grins an' winks at 'im, an' 'e jus' winks at me.
'O, blimey! Them was golding days, wif not a stroke ter do
Excep' ter line up ev'ry week an' dror me bloomin' screw.
O' course, ther's some thet chips at me an' bellers in a rage;
But I jus' grins an' tips the wink ter 'im they calls the HAGE.
An' 'e speaks up quite serious: ''Ow kin I work,' sez 'e,
'When these 'ere Opposition blokes are all obstructin' me?'
'My oath, it wus an orlright cop! I thort I'd struck it rich.
'Ow could I know' (again he sobbed) 'thet 'e would crool me pitch?
One day 'e sez, quite sudding like, 'This job must be put thro','
An' I jus' winks an' murmurs, 'Dicken,' like I useter do.
But strike! You could 'ave outed me in one, when, 'fore I knowed,
'E turns around on me and sez, quite narsty, 'You be blowed!'
''You'll 'ave ter get ter work,' 'e sez, 'on this 'ere job, or leave.
Fer w'y,' 'e sez, 'I'm sick o' this 'ere game o' make-believe.
Yer jus' perten' ter work,' 'e sez. 'Yer're loafin' day an' night.
Don't grin an' wink at me,' 'e sez, 'yer blanky hippercryte!
Wot are yer 'ere fer anny way? Wot did we pay yer for?
We wants more solid graft,' 'e sez, 'an' less infernal jore!'
'An' that wus 'im I called me pal - me cobber staunch an' true!
'E turns around on me like that an' gives me graft ter do!
Graft, w'ich was the mean sorter thing I allays 'ad despised.
Oh, 'ow wus I ter know 'e wus a sorter John disguised?
'E let me loaf fer munce and munce, an' sets me workin' now.
An', blimey, Mister, I would work, but, 'struth, I dunno 'ow!
'I dunno 'ow ter do the work; an' spare me, if I did,
I couldn't go ter do it, 'cos me doctor 'as forbid.
'E sez that I'm worn out in ev'ry part excep' me cheek;
An' if I start ter graft I'll go ter pieces in a week.
An' if I lose me job I'll 'ave no tucker, bed or roof.
For w'y? Me cobber's done me in! 'E's gone and told the troof.'
I tried to soothe the stricken Bloke, and still his mournful din;
But yet he murmured brokenly, 'Me cobber's done me in!'
And if you roam in Spring-street when the House adjourns at night,
You'll probably encounter this most pitiable sight.
He leans against his post and sobs, prostrated by the news
The Bloke whose cobber did him in, the disillusioned Fuse.
A Digger's Tale
'My oath!' the Duchess sez. 'You'd not ixpect
Sich things as that. Yeh don't mean kangaroos?
Go hon!' she sez, or words to that effect --
(It's 'ard to imitate the speech they use)
I tells 'er, 'Straight; I drives 'em four-in-'and
'Ome in my land.'
'You 'ear a lot,' sez little Digger Smith,
'About 'ow English swells is so stand-off.
Don't yeh believe it; it's a silly myth.
I've been reel cobbers with the British toff
While I'm on leaf; for Blighty likes our crowd,
An' done us proud.
'Us Aussies was the goods in London town
When I was there. If they jist twigged your 'at
The Dooks would ask yeh could yeh keep one down,
An' Earls would 'ang out 'Welcome' on the mat,
An' sling yeh invites to their stately 'alls
For fancy balls.
'This Duchess -- I ain't quite sure uv 'er rank;
She might 'ave been a Peeress. I dunno.
I meets 'er 'usband first. 'E owns a bank,
I 'eard, an' 'arf a dozen mints or so.
A dinkum toff. 'E sez, 'Come 'ome with me
An' 'ave some tea.'
'That's 'ow I met this Duchess Wot's-'er-name --
Or Countess -- never mind 'er moniker;
I ain't no 'and at this 'ere title game --
An' right away, I was reel pals with 'er.
'Now, tell me all about yer 'ome,' sez she,
An' smiles at me.
'That knocks me out. I know it ain't no good
Paintin' word-picters uv the things I done
Out 'ome 'ere, barrackin' for Collin'wood,
Or puntin' on the flat at Flemin'ton.
I know this Baroness uv Wot-yeh-call
Wants somethin' tall.
'I thinks reel 'ard; an' then I lets it go.
I tell 'er, out at Richmond, on me Run --
A little place uv ten square mile or so --
I'm breedin' boomerangs; which is reel fun,
When I ain't troubled by the wild Jonops
That eats me crops.
'I talks about the wondrous Boshter Bird
That builds 'er nest up in the Cobber Tree,
An' 'atches out 'er young on May the third,
Stric' to the minute, jist at 'arf past three.
'Er eyes get big. She sez, 'Can it be true?'
'Er eyes was blue.
'An' then I speaks uv sport, an' tells 'er 'ow
In 'untin' our wild Wowsers we imploy
Large packs uv Barrackers, an' 'ow their row
Wakes echoes in the forests uv Fitzroy,
Where lurks the deadly Shicker Snake 'oo's breath
Is certain death.
'I'm goin' on to talk of kangaroos,
An' 'ow I used to drive 'em four-in-'and.
'Wot?' sez the Marchioness. 'Them things in zoos
That 'ops about? I've seen then in the Strand
In double 'arness; but I ain't seen four.
Tell me some more.'
I baulks a bit at that; an' she sez, ''Well,
There ain't no cause at all for you to feel
Modest about the things you 'ave to tell;
An' wot you says wonderfully reel.
Your talk' - an' 'ere I seen 'er eyelids flick --
'Makes me 'omesick'.
'I reckerlect,' she sez -- 'Now let me see --
In Gippsland, long ago, when I was young,
I 'ad a little pet Corroboree,'
(I sits up in me chair like I was stung.)
'On it's 'ind legs,' she sez, 'it used to stand.
Fed from me 'and.'
'Uv cours, I threw me alley in right there.
This Princess was a dinkum Aussie girl.
I can't do nothin' else but sit an' stare,
Thinkin' so rapid that me 'air roots curl.
But 'er? She sez, 'I ain't 'eard talk so good
Since my childhood.
''I wish,' sez she, 'I could be back again
Beneath the wattle an' that great blue sky.
It's like a breath uv 'ome to meet you men.
You've done reel well,' she sez. 'Don't you be shy.
When yer in Blighty once again,' sez she,
'Come an' see me.'
'I don't see 'er no more; 'cos I stopped one.
But, 'fore I sails, I gits a billy doo
Which sez, 'Give my love to the dear ole Sun,
An' take an exile's blessin' 'ome with you.
An' if you 'ave some boomerangs to spare,
Save me a pair.
''I'd like to see 'em play about,' she wrote,
'Out on me lawn, an' stroke their pretty fur.
God bless yeh, boy.' An' then she ends 'er note,
'Yer dinkum cobber,' an' 'er moniker.
A sport? You bet! She's marri'd to an Earl --
An Aussie girl.'
The veil was rent, and mundane Time merged in Eternity;
And I beheld the End of Things. I heard the Last Decree
Pronounced on all the World that Is, and Was, and Is to Be.
Rank upon rank before the Throne the Nations were arrayed,
And every man since Time began by his own act was weighed;
Till, to the Right, the diffident Elected stood dismayed.
For here the lowly Lazarus, and all his kind and ken
Repentant knave and serf and slave and humble beggar-men
In wonder looked from Damned to Throne, then on the Damned again.
Gaunt, towsled creatures of the streets still trembled, half in fear;
Weak women who had 'sinned' for love, and common folk were here,
Facing the Lost, yet doubting still that the Decree was clear.
For on the Left amid the Damned, a thousand million strong,
There stood a band of 'righteous' folk - a very 'genteel' throng;
All much surprised and scandalised, and scenting 'something wrong.'
Here reigned Respectability 'mid virgins sour and chaste;
Prim, haughty dames, whose worldly aims had been in perfect taste,
Shorn of their pride, stood side by side with sweaters leaden-faced.
Strict folk, who ne'er had sinned without due reck'ning of the cost,
Sniffed disapproval and declared the function was a frost,
And vowed the angel-ushers erred in marking them as Lost.
Strange men there were of ev'ry age since Man did first increase,
From Adam on to Babylon, from Persia to Greece,
From Greece and Rome, to England, on till Time was bidden cease.
Courtiers were there, and prince and peer - ay, even brewere-knights -
Preachers and parsons, Pharisees, Gentiles and Israelites,
Pharaohs and Caesars, Emperors and smug suburbanites.
Yea, every canting hypocrite since early Eocene,
In skin and silk and suit of mail and broadcloth stood serene,
Full sure his plight would be set right when the 'mistake' was seen.
And, as they gazed, shocked and amazed, upon the chosen side
On folk ill-clad in rags that had half-clothed them when they died
Lord God, they're not respectable! Nay, have a care!' they cried.
Then stepped there forth, consumed with wrath, an unctuous alderman;
And, standing out before the Throne, he pompously began
(In life he built a church, and many 'charities' he ran)
'Most High, the Heavenly Court, and Friends I do not wish to blame
Where blame is not deserved; but I protest it is a shame
That such a state of things exists; and I regret I came.
'I - I, a pillar of the Church, a famed philanthropist,
Who, on a Sabbath went to chapel thrice, and never missed;
I, rich, respectable, am down on the 'Rejected' list.
'It is absurd, upon my word, when even Royalty
Is bid make way for yon array of rags and misery!
Ay, even vice, to my surprise, in their soiled ranks I see!
''Tis past a jest; and I protest it is an insult when
That common, motley crew of low, ill-bred, unlettered men
Is set on high, while such as I are herded in this pen!
And, as he closed, the huddled rows of Damned caught up the cry ;
From many million 'genteel' throats a shout went to the sky:
'Lord God, they're not respectable! Beware, beware, Most High!'
Close on their shout The Voice rang out, and took them like a flood;
Till king and khan and alderman and prince of royal blood,
And chief and lord and preacher cowered and trembled where they stood.
'Ye knew my life, ye knew my Law, ye mocked with hollow praise;
Ye knelt to me in blasphemy once in the Seven Days;
Then raised an idol in my place and went your idol's ways.
'To this ye turned; for this ye spurned the Man of Galilee;
And in your hearts ye sacrificed to other gods than me;
Nor ceased to crawl to it ye call 'Respectability.'
'And when its Law was not my Law, say, whither did ye lean?
Did ye heed my Word or seek to aid my humble folk and mean?
Ye prayed unto a myth and scorned the lowly Nazarene.
'E'en as ye judged my People here, so are ye judged and weighed;
But the humble mates of Christ the Carpenter today are paid.
My folk they be; I know not ye. Go, call your god to aid.'
And lo, adown the shining stairs, each with a flaming sword,
Avenging hosts of angels came - yet howled the stricken horde,
'Lord God, they're not respectable! Be warned in time, O Lord!'
Then yawned agape and greedily a horrid, fiery cleft,
And prince and king and alderman, of pomp and pride bereft,
Went, pressed like herded cattle, till no trace of gloom was left.
Yet, as they fell, the gates of Hell gave back a cry that came
Now far and faint, a doleful plaint - all muffled through the flame,
'Lord God, they're not respectable! O, King of Kings, for shame!'
An Appeal To Women
O ye women! WIMMIN! WEEMIN!!
See our tears repentant streamin'!
See the pearly drops a-gleamin',
Streamin' from our rheumy eye!
Mark our weskits palpitatin'.
Pray ye, be accommodation'.
Spare a thought commiseratin',
Say the Tory shall not die!
Spare him, who has been your master,
From political disaster.
Doom approaches fast and faster.
Save him - and the Marriage Tie!
Long ago, when, in the gloaming,
Hungry mastodons went roaming
With a view to seeking out what they might scoff.
There was little chance of spooning
In the park; and honey-mooning,
As a fashion, was most obviously 'off.'
For a honeymoon's a failure, and the gladness of it's gone
If you spend the latter end of it inside a mastodon.
So the troglodyte, new-married,
Cut his honeymoon, and tarried
In his cavern with his little bit of frock;
And instead of hugs and kisses,
He caressed his lawful missus
With a bit of cold, hard tertiary rock.
For the 'proper sphere' for women in that neolithic race
Was amongst the goods and chattels, and she had to keep her place.
But, as troglodytes expanded,
Rose a section that demanded
More consideration for the women-folk;
And the good old Tory faction
Met, and moved to 'take some action'
To oppose this foolish Socialistic joke.
But they had a way of dealing with such people in those days;
And, therefore, rocks gave way to clubs and other gentler ways.
Hark, O, woman! WOMMAN! WOOMAN!!
You would not be so inhuman
As to seal the Tory's doom an'
Join the Socialist hordes?
O, ye women of the classes!
Rise ye in your cultured masses!
Haste, before the Tory passes.
Be ye saviours of your lords.
Lo, have we not fought your battles!
(Hark! The foeman's armor rattles!)
Would ye be his toys and chattels?
Save us from Progression's swords!
Passing down the ancient ages,
Skipping many pregnant pages,
We arrive at that old magnate of the mines
Solomon, in all his glory
Rich monopolist and Tory,
Who possessed some wives and countless concubines.
And I shall not pause to dwell upon the Queen of Sheba's visit;
For such gossip isn't tolerated 'midst the 'naicest,' is it?
After that wise king was pensioned,
Someone (who and when not mentioned)
Said that men should have no more than one wife each.
Then the good old crusted Tory
Rose, with language loud and gory,
And delivered a prolonged impassioned speech.
He called this new proposal 'Socialist froth and foam
That attacked the marriage contract and the sanctity of home.'
Ay, he raved with indignation,
Formed an ancient Federation
Of Defence, and backed it up with piles of cash.
But the rabid 'One-wife' section
Fought and carried the election,
And their legislation ill-advised and rash.
Old Time has sprinted somewhat since that scheme was first begun,
And now the Tory (I'm informed) is satisfied with one.
O, ye women! WIMMIN! WEEMIN!!
Don't ye hear the Tory screamin'?
All along he's been esteemin'
Womankind, since ages dim.
He has pampered you and prized you;
E'er adored and idolised you,
And, moreover, recognised you
As his equal. Fly to him!
Has he not passed legislation
Granting you emancipation?
If you'd save your reputation
Haste to grant his ev'ry whim!
Once again, with hasty fingers,
Let us turn the page. Who lingers
There will find that ancient history repeats.
O'er and o'er the same old story,
Telling how the dear old Tory
Abdicates (perhaps) when womankind entreats.
Well, he did admit her equal to his dog at any rate.
So we'll pass - with your permission - to affairs of recent date.
Ah! did not the tender Tory
Listen to her tearful story
When she pleaded for a vote a while ago?
Did he not cry out in anguish
To behold his sister languish
For the franchise that the men enjoyed! Oh no.
'Tis recorded - mayhap wrongly - that he fought her tooth and nail.
And he sneered at her pretensions, but his sneers did not prevail.
Does the Tory change? I doubt it.
Watch him, how he goes about it,
Like his prototype the troglodyte B.C.,
When her mood he wants to soften,
See him smite her hard and often
With large, heavy chunks of deadly orat'ry.
But the outlook of she-troglodytes has much improved to-day;
For, although they may not now it, they're his last and only stay.
Hark ye, women! Women voters!
Social queens and League promoters!
Are ye ever to be doters
On the male-bird of your type!
Since Tory Adam bit the pippin
He has blamed you for his slippin'
And his sinnin'. Here's a rippin'
Chance to pay back ev'ry stripe.
Nay, it were a shame to lose it.
You have got the franchise - use it!
HE said that you would abuse it.
Now! TMUMBS DOWN! The time is ripe!
The Great God Guff
There was once a Simple People - (you, of course, will understand
This is just a little fable of a non-existent land)
There was once a Simple People, and they had a Simple King,
And his name - well, SMITH the First will do as well as anything
And they lived upon an island by a pleasant southern sea,
Which they boastfully referred to as the 'Country of the Free.'
This King SMITH was quite a model. He was kind and he was wise.
But, alas! a higher sovereign he was forced to recognise.
As in ev'ry age and nation, since the tale of man was known,
Superstition here existed as the power behind the throne.
It was vague and unsubstantial but its sway was plain enough,
And 'twas known upon the island, simply, as the Great God GUFF.
They made sacrifices to it, treasure, corn and slaughtered beasts,
Good King SMITH cringed to the idol where upon his throne he sat;
And the People feared it greatly; and the priests grew very fat.
Now, the welfare of the priestcraft did not always coincide
With the welfare of the People, hence the wily priests relied
On the hoary superstition that had stood the test of years;
Thus they led both king and people by their rather ass-like ears;
Crying: 'GUFF was ever with us! GUFF the Great must be obeyed!
GUFF the god must be consulted ere a single law be made!'
And the very simple People with their very simple King
Bowed their heads and said, 'So be it. GUFF be served in ev'rything.'
So the nation muddled somehow on its island by the sea -
Simple superstitious people in their 'Country of the Free.'
And whene'er they yearned for Progress, as things drifted to the worst,
SMITH replied, 'Have patience, people. GUFF must be consulted first.
Other lands and other nations may progress without his aid;
But upon our native island never rule or law is made
Till his priests have pondered o'er it, seeking to divine his will.
So it was with our forefathers, so with us it must be still.'
Came a time when folk grew restive, murmurming amongst themselves,
While the nation's schemes and projects lay neglected on the shelves.
Then arose amid the people one of singular renown -
Since his name the eld refuses, let us call him, simply, BROWN.
BROWN was something of a student, strong on things like common-sense;
He was plain and blunt and forceful; and he hated smug pretence.
And before the priests and people, in a manner rude and gruff,
He arose and put this question, briefly: 'Who and what is GUFF?'
Loud the People shrieked in terror; and the High-Priest threw a fit;
And the king rose from his dias as his eye with anger lit.
'He blasphemes!' declared the monarch. 'Sieze the sacrilegious brute!
Great God GUFF may not be questioned! He is mighty! absolute!'
But BROWN stood his ground and answered, 'Oh, I'm sick of all that stuff!
Give me one clear definition: What's the bloomon' use of GUFF?
He's a silly superstition! and I'll prove to you, King SMITH,
If you'll give me just five minutes, that your idol is a myth.'
Well, to bring a simple story to a sudden, simple end,
BROWN beat down all opposition, and affairs began to mend.
Good King SMITH, with seemly wisdom, on his idol turned his back;
And, without much fuss, the People simply gave old GUFF the sack.
And the priests? Well, some took service with the king, and so reformed;
Some adopted Christian Science; some in vain still raved and stormed;
Others strove to mend their fortunes with an Independent Kirk;
Some became mere weather prophets; some - a paltry few - got work.
So they thrived, the simple People, on their island by the sea;
And their schemes and projects prospered, for the land, at last, was free.
SMITH the First, emancipated, o'er a happy country ruled.
And he smiled when he reflected how the nation had been fooled;
How the simple King and People, by a superstition cursed.
Ever cried in foolish terror: 'GUFF must be consulted first!'
And the last words of that monarch long were treasured in the land . . .
But, of course, it's all a fable, as you'll clearly uderstand.
Yet - there lives a simple People on an island by the sea,
And a simple Monarch rules them called the King DEMOCRACY.
Rather, does he seek to rule them, but his will is warped and bent
By a childish superstition known as 'Party Government.'
And the idol has its priestcraft that pretends to lead the race;
Though they call them 'Politicians' in this later year of grace.
And whene'er the folk grow restive, as things drift from worse to worst,
Cry the priests, 'Behold the Party! It must be considered first!'
And the simple, simple People bend their heads and murmur, 'Yes,
We respect the claims of Party . . . But who is to mend this Mess!
Schemes go wrong and projects languish, and the Big Things of the State
Lie neglected while this Party bids us wait and ever wait!'
Oh, for some plain, forceful person with a plain, drab name like BROWN,
And a wholesome hate for humbug, and a stern, determined frown,
To arouse the simple People and their king, DEMOCRACY,
Cringing to their fool-god Party on their island by the sea!
'Ah, wot's the use?' she sez. 'Lea' me alone!
Why can't I go to 'ell in my own way?
I never arst you 'ere to mag an' moan.
Nor yet,' she sez, 'to pray.
I'll take wot's comin', an' whine no excuse.
So wot's the use?
'Me life's me own!' she sez. 'You got a nerve
You two - to interfere in my affairs.
Git out an' give advise where it may serve:
Stay 'ome an' bleat yer pray'rs.
Did I come pleadin' for yer pity? No!
Well, why not go?'
Pride! Dilly pride an' down-an'-out despair:
When them two meet there's somethin' got to break.
I got that way, to see 'er sittin' there,
I felt like I could take
That 'arf-starved frame uv 'er's by might an' main,
An' shake 'er sane.
That's 'ow it is when me an' parson roam
Down to the paradise wot Spadgers knows,
To find the 'ovel that she calls 'er 'ome,
An' 'ave a word with Rose.
Imgagin' 'igh-strung cliners in dispute
Ain't my long suit.
'Huh! Rescue work!' she sneers. 'Er eyes is bright;
'Er voice is 'ard. 'I'm a deservin' case.
Me? Fancy! Don't I look a pretty sight
To come to savin' grace?
Pity the sinner - Aw, don't come that trick!
It makes me sick!'
'Isterical she was, or nearly so:
Too little grub, an' too much time to fret
Ingrowin' grouch sich as few women know,
Or want to know - an' yet,
When I glance at the parson, there I see
I've knowed ole Snowy since the days uv old;
Yet never 'ad I got so close to see
A world-wise man 'oo's 'cart is all pure gold
An' 'uman charity.
For, all that girl was suff'rln', well I knoo,
'E suffered too.
'My child,' 'e sez, 'I don't come 'ere to preach.
You're a good girl; an' when -' 'Oo sez I ain't?
'Oo sez I ain't?' 'Er voice is near a screech.
'I'm no hymn-singin' saint;
But you're a bit too previous givin' me
This third degree.'
An' then she starts to laugh. I'd 'ate to see
A woman laugh or look like that again.
She's in the dinkum 'igh-strikes now; to me
That's showin' pretty plain.
She's like a torchered thing - 'arf crazy - wild ....
'Take thort, my child.
'Take thort,' the parson sez. 'I only ask
Before you risk all for a life uv crime
You'll 'esitate. Is that too 'ard to task?
May there not come a time -'
'Time? Yes,' I chips. 'You'll git that fer yer pains.
Ar, brush yer brains!'
The parson sighs. 'This man,' 'E sez, 'this Wegg
'Oo dazzles you with tork uv gains frum sin
Is 'e dependable? Think well, I beg -'
'Beg nothin',' I chips in.
'To beg decoy ducks ain't the proper tack.
She wants a smack!'
The parson groans. 'I've offered you,' 'e starts.
'Offer 'er nothin'! Can't you pick 'er like?
No dinkum 'elp is any good to tarts
'0o'd fall fer sich as Spike.
She's short uv grit to battle on 'er own,
An' stand alone.'
That done it. If I'd let the parson gone
An' come the mild an' gentle, sure enough,
She'd 'ad the willies. When the dames take on,
The game's to treat 'em rough.
That's wot I've 'card. It woke Rose up, all right,
An' full uv fight.
'Alone?' she sez. 'I've stood alone, Gawd knows!
Alone an' honest, battlin' on the square.
An' now - Oh, damn your charity! I've chose!
I'm down; an' I don't care.
I'm fer the easy life an' pretty clo'es.
That's that!' sez Rose.
The cause looks blue. Wot more was to be said?
An' then, all on me own, I weaves right there
The bright idear wot after bowed me 'ead
In sorrer an' despair.
I didn't ort to be let out alone.
That much I own.
'Ah, well,' I sez, resigned, 'if that's the life,
It's no use sayin' wot I come to say.
Which was,' I sez, 'a message frum me wife
Arstin' you 'ome to stay.'
'Your wife?' I nods. 'If you 'ad cared to come.'
She seems struck dumb.
'Your wife?' she sez. 'Wot does she know uv me?'
Then pride an' 'er suspicions makes 'er flare:
'Is this more pretty schemes fer charity?
Why should she arst me there?'
'Why? Well, you ort to know,' I answer, quick.
'Account uv Mick.'
Down on 'er folded arms 'er 'ead went, flop.
At larst our 'oly cause is won, I know.
She sobbed until I thort she'd never stop:
It 'urt to see 'er so;
Yet I felt glad the way I'd worked me nob
An' let 'er sob,
'That's tore it,' I remarks be'ind me 'and.
The parson nods. 'E's smilin' now all gay.
Ten minutes later, an' the 'ole thing's planned
Fer Rose's 'oliday.
We put the acid on, an' scold an' tease
Till she agrees.
Once we're outside the parson takes me 'and.
'Without your 'elp, your wit, we would 'ave failed.'
'Aw, easy work,' I answer, feelin' grand,
Like some ole knight, tin-mailed.
Then, sudden, like a load uv punchered tyres,
Me pride ixpires.
'Young friend,' 'e starts...... 'No, not too young; but old
Old with the cares,' I sez, 'uv fambly life.
This might 'ave been dead right when knights was bold;
But wot about me wife?
She don't know nothin'! I 'ave done me dash
Through actin' rash.'
'A trifle!' sez 'is rev'rince. 'Tut!' sez 'e.
'I'll promise you fair sailin' with Doreen.'
''Tain't that so much,' I sez, 'wot troubles me.'
'Trouble? Wot you mean?'
I grins at 'im. 'Me conscience,' I reply.
'I've tole a lie!'
A Holy War
'Young friend!' . . . I tries to duck, but miss the bus.
'E sees me first, an' 'as me by the 'and.
'Young friend!' 'e sez; an' starts to make a fuss
At meetin' me. 'Why, this,' 'e sez, 'is grand!
Events is workin' better than I planned.
It's Providence that I should meet you thus.
You're jist the man,' 'e sez, 'to make a stand,
An' strive for us.
'Young friend,' 'e sez, 'allow me to explain
But wot 'e 'as to say too well I knows.
I got the stren'th uv it in Spadgers Lane
Not 'arf an hour before'and, when I goes
To see if I could pick up news uv Rose,
After that dentist let me off the chain.
('Painless,' 'e's labelled. So 'e is, I s'pose.
I 'ad the pain.)
'Young friend,' 'e sez. I let 'im 'ave 'is say;
Though I'm already wise to all 'e said
The queer old parson, with 'is gentle way
('E tied Doreen an' me when we was wed)
I likes 'im, from 'is ole soft, snowy 'ead
Down to 'is boots. 'E ain't the sort to pray
When folks needs bread.
Yeh'd think that 'e was simple as a child;
An' so 'e is, some ways; but, by and by,
While 'e is talkin' churchy-like an' mild,
Yeh catch a tiny twinkle in 'is eye
Which gives the office that 'e's pretty fly
To cunnin' lurks. 'E ain't to be beguiled
With fairy tales. An' when I've seen 'em try
'E's only smiled.
'Young friend,' 'e sez, 'I am beset by foes.
The Church,' 'e sez, 'is in a quandary.'
An' then 'e takes an' spills out all 'is woes,
An' 'ints that this 'ere job is up to me.
'Yer aid - per'aps yer strong right arm,' sez 'e,
'Is needed if we are to rescue Rose
From wot base schemes an' wot iniquity
Gawd only knows.'
This is the sorry tale. Rose, sick, an' low
In funds an' frien's, an' far too proud to beg,
Is gittin' sorely tempted fer to go
Into the spielin' trade by one Spike Wegg.
I knoo this Spike uv old; a reel bad egg,
'0o's easy livin' is to git in tow
Some country mug, an' pull 'is little leg
Fer all 'is dough.
A crooked crook is Spike amongst the crooks,
A rat, 'oo'd come the double on 'is friends;
Flash in 'is ways, but innercint in looks
Which 'e works well fer 'is un'oly ends.
'It's 'ard to know,' sez Snowy, 'why Fate sends
Sich men among us, or why justice brooks
Their evil ways, which they but seldom mends
Except in books.
'Young friend,' 'e sez, 'You're known in Spadgers Lane.
You know their ways. We must seek out this man.
With 'er, pray'r an' persuasion 'ave been vain.
I've pleaded, but she's bound to 'is vile plan.
I'd 'ave you treat 'im gently, if you can;
But if you can't, well - I need not explain.'
('E twinkles 'ere) 'I'm growin' partisan;
I must refrain.'
'Do you mean stoush?' I sez. 'Fer if yeh do
I warn yeh that a scrap might put me queer.'
'Young friend,' sez 'e, 'I leave the means to you.
Far be it from the Church to interfere
With noble works.' But I sez, 'Now, look 'ere,
I got a wife at 'ome; you know 'er, too.
Ther's certin things I never could make clear
If once she knoo.
'I got a wife,' I sez, 'an' loves 'er well,
Like I loves peace an' quite. An' if I goes
Down into Spadgers, raisin' merry 'ell,
Breakin' the peace an' things account uv Rose,
Where that might land me goodness only knows.
'Ow women sees these things no man can tell.
I've done with stoush,' I sez. ''Ard knocks an' blows
'Ave took a spell.
'I've done with stoush,' I sez. But in some place
Deep in me 'eart a voice begun to sing;
A lurin' little voice, with motives base…
It's ten long years since I was in a ring,
Ten years since I gave that left 'ook a swing.
Ten weary years since I pushed in a face;
An' 'ere's a chance to 'ave a little fling
With no disgrace.
'Stoush? Stoush, young friend?' 'e sez. 'Where 'ave I 'eard
That term? I gather it refers to strife.
But there,' 'e sez, 'why quarrel with a word?
As you 'ave said, indeed, I know yer wife;
An' should she 'ear you went where vice is rife
To battle fer the right - But it's absurd
To look fer gallantry in modrin life.
It's a rare bird.
'Young friend,' 'e sez. An' quicker than a wink
'Is twinklin' eyes grew sudden very grave.
'Young friend,' 'e sez, 'I know jist wot yeh think
Uv 'ow us parsons blather an' be'ave.
But I 'ave 'ere a woman's soul to save
A lonely woman, tremblin' on the brink
Uv black perdition, blacker than the grave.
An' she must sink.
'Yes, she must sink,' 'e sez. 'For I 'ave done
All that a man uv my poor parts can do.
An' I 'ave failed! There was not anyone
That I could turn to, till I met with you.
But now that 'ope 'as gone - an' 'er 'ope too.'
''Old on,' I sez. 'Just let me think for one
Brief 'alf-a-mo. I'd love a crack or two
At this flash gun.'
'Righto,' I sez (an' turns me back on doubt)
'I'm with yeh, parson. I go down to-night
To Spadgers, an' jist looks this Spike Wegg out.'
'Young friend,' 'e sez, 'be sure you've chosen right.
Remember, I do not desire a fight.
But if - ' 'Now don't you fret,' I sez, 'about
No vi'lince. If I'm forced, it will be quite
A friendly clout.'
'Young friend,' 'e sez, 'if you go, I go too.
Maybe, by counsel, I may yet injuce
This evil man - ' 'It ain't no game for you,'
I argues with 'im. But it ain't no use.
'I go!' 'e sez, an' won't take no ixcuse.
So that's all fixed. An' us crusaders two
Goes down to-night to Spadgers, to cut loose
Till all is blue.
'Ow can Doreen make trouble or git sore?
(Already I can 'ear 'er scold an' so
But this ain't stoushin'. It's a 'oly war!
The blessin' uv the Church is on the job.
I'm a church-worker, with full leave to lob
A sacrid left on Spike Wegg's wicked jor.
Jist let me! Once! An' after, s'elp me bob,
Never no more!
The Eternal Circle
Now, a visitor from somewhere right outside this Mundane Ball
Do not ask me where he came from, for that point's not clear at all;
For he might have been an angel, or he might have come from Mars,
Or from any of the other of the fixed or unfixed stars.
As regards his mental make-up he was much like you or me;
And he toured about the country, just to see what he could see.
Well, this superhuman person was of most inquiring mind,
And 'twas noted, from his questions, he was very far from blind,
And the striking thing about him was his stern, compelling eye,
That demanded Truth ungarbled when he paused for a reply.
And, despite the mental wriggles of the folk he interviewed,
When they placed the Truth before him she was ab-so-lutely nude.
At our Civilised Society he stared in some amaze,
As he muttered his equivalent for 'Gosh!' or 'Spare me days!'
For our cherished modes and customs knocked him sideways, so to speak.
'To solve,' said he, 'this mystery, now whither shall I seek?
For a sane and sound solution I must question those on high,'
Said this extra-mundane being with the stern, compelling eye.
Now, his methods were intelligent - I confess,
For he started with our Politics, religion and the Press.
Thus, he read a morning paper through, intently, ev'ry leaf,
Then hied him out to interview the editor-in-chief:
'They say that Truth lives in a well,' he muttered as he went;
'But her well is not an inkwell, I will lay my last lone cent.'
It chanced he found the editor unguarded and alone
At the office of the paper - 'twas the MORNING MEGAPHONE.
'Now, I take it,' said the visitor, 'you represent the Press,
That great Public Educator?' And the pressman murmured, 'Yes.'
'Yet in yesterday's edition I perceived a glaring lie!
How's this?' He fixed the pressman with his stern, compelling eye.
Then the editor he stammered, and the editor he 'hemmed'
And muttered things like 'Gracious me!' and likewise, 'Well, I'm demned!'
But the lady Truth came tripping, all undressed and unashamed;
'Oh, I own it!' cried the editor. 'But how can I be blamed?
There's our blighted advertisers and our readers - Spare my grief!
But we've got to please the public!' moaned the editor-in-chief.
'Now to interview a statesman and consider his reply,'
Said this strange Select Committee with the stern, compelling eye.
And the Honorable Member for Mud Flat he chanced to find
In a noble Spring-street building of a most palatial kind.
And the Honorable Member viewed his visitor with awe,
For he surely had the most compelling eye you ever saw.
'Now, then, tell me,' said the visitor; 'you are a man of State,
And you blither on the platform of this Nation grand and great;
Of this noble Land's great destiny I've heard you talking hard,
But, whene'er it comes to voting, it's the 'claims' of your back yard.
Do you represent the Nation, as you often say you do,
Or a hen-roost or a cow-yard, or a parish-pump or two?'
Then the politician stuttered, and the politician stared,
But to voice his patriotic platitudes he felt too scared;
For the lady Truth insisted, and he blurted, 'It's the Votes!
You must blame the dashed electors when you see us turn our coats!
Our constituents control us. You must please remember that.
And we've got to please the public!' whined the Member for Mud Flat.
'Now to look into religion,' said the visitor, 'I'm told
I may get much information from a Wowser-of-the-Fold.'
And he sought him out a Wowser of the very sternest breed:
'Sweet Charity, they tell me, is the keynote of your creed.
And of mercy for the sinner, and of succor for the weak
>From the pulpit, on a Sunday, I have often heard you speak;
Yet Charity is turned to Spite, and Scorn becomes your creed
When they speak of giving bounty to weak Magadalene in need.'
Then the Wowser hesitated, and the Wowser rolled his eyes,
And sought in vain to call to mind some Wowserish replies.
But the lady truth came peeping, and the Wowser cried, 'O, Lor!'
And he hastily drew the blind and softly closed the door.
'She is naked!' gasped the Wowser. 'Oh, where are the hussy's clothes?
If my dear brethren saw me now! Oh, what do you suppose!'
'The Truth!' exclaimed the querist with the stern, compelling eye.
''Tis my flock!' exclaimed the Wowser. 'Oh, I cannot tell a lie!
My flock of virgins sour and chaste, and matrons undeceived,
They would hound me from the pulpit if I said what I believed!
I dot on notoriety! The Truth it must be told.
Oh, I've got to please my public!' moaned the Wowser-of-the-Fold.
'Now, this Public; I must nail it,' said the queer Inquisitor.
''Tis the favor of this mighty god they all seem eager for;
And they always strive to please him, and his sentiments express
In their Parliaments and Pulpits and their organs of the Press.
And I'll get a sure solution if I hvae the luck to meet -
What is this he's called? - the Man, or Bloque, or Fellow-in-the-Street.'
A Fellow-in-the-Street was found, and typical was he,
An eager hunter of the thing that men call £. s. d.
He wore a strained expression on his features, dull and flat,
Also bifurcated coat-tails, and a little hard round hat.
His talk was mainly platitutdes, when it wasn't shop or horse,
And he had some fixed opinions and a bank account, of course.
'Now, then, tell me,' said the visitant, 'What are you private views
On you Politics, Religion and the Sheet that gives you news?
I have heard a lot about you, and a deal I'd like to know
Of why you work, and what you think, and where you hope to go.
I feel assured that I shall find the Truth in your reply.'
And he fixed the foolish Fellow with his stern, compelling eye.
The Fellow hemmed and hawed a bit, the Fellow looked about,
And the lady Truth smiled sweetly while he murmured, as in doubt.
'Well, re-al-ly, my views upon those things I can't express.
You must ask our Politicians and the Parsons and the Press.
But as for me - well, candidly, you've got me off my beat;
For I don't know much about it!' said the Fellow-in-the-Street.
''Tis the Circle!' cried the visitor. ''Tis the same old crazy game
Right through the trackless Milky Way to there from whence I came.
The Earth is round, the Moon is round, and Jupitre and Mars,
Their orbit's all, and Saturn's rings, and countless million stars.
All throughout the constellations I have journeyed, to and fro,
But ev'rything goes round and round no matter where I go.
All the Universe is circles! All one tantalising twirl!
Oh, is there nothing straight or square in all this cosmic whirl?
And with these strange and cryptic words the Being fled afar,
Back to his native hiding-place - his fixed or unfixed star.
Some say his name was 'Reason,' other hold 'twas 'Intellect':
But as for me I have no views to voice in that respect.
His motives seemed mysterious; I know not how nor why;
I only know he had a stern and most compelling eye.
Becos a crook done in a prince, an' narked an Emperor,
An' struck a light that set the world aflame;
Becos the bugles East an' West sooled on the dawgs o' war,
A bloke called Ginger Mick 'as found 'is game
Found 'is game an' found 'is brothers, 'oo wus strangers in 'is sight,
Till they shed their silly clobber an' put on the duds fer fight.
Yes, they've shed their silly clobber an' the other stuff they wore
Fer to 'ide the man beneath it in the past;
An' each man is the clean, straight man 'is Maker meant 'im for,
An' each man knows 'is brother man at last.
Shy strangers, till a bugle blast preached 'oly brother'ood;
But mateship they 'ave found at last; an' they 'ave found it good.
So the lumper, an' the lawyer, an' the chap 'oo shifted sand,
They are cobbers wiv the cove 'oo drove a quill;
They knut 'oo swung a cane upon the Block, 'e takes the 'and
Uv the coot 'oo swung a pick on Broken 'Ill;
An' Privit Clord Augustus drills wiv Privit Snarky Jim
They are both Australian soljers, w'ich is good enough fer 'im.
It's good enough fer orl uv 'em, as orl uv 'em 'ave seen
Since they got the same glad clobber next their skins;
An' the bloke 'oo 'olds the boodle an' the coot wivout a bean,
Why, they knock around like little Kharki twins.
An' they got a common lingo, w'ich is growin' mighty thick
Wiv ixpressive contributions frum the stock uv Ginger Mick.
'E 'as struck it fer a moral. Ginger's found 'is game at last,
An' 'e's took to it like ducklin's take to drink;
An' 'is slouchin' an' 'is grouchin' an' 'is loafin' uv the past
'E's done wiv 'em, an' dumped 'em down the sink.
'E's a bright an' shinin' sample uv a the'ry that I 'old:
That ev'ry 'eart that ever pumped is good fer chunks o' gold.
Ev'ry feller is a gold mine if yeh take an' work 'im right:
It is shinin' on the surface now an' then;
An' there's some is easy sinkin', but there's some wants dynermite,
Fer they looks a 'opeless prospect - yet they're men.
An' Ginger - 'ard-shell Ginger's showin' signs that 'e will pay;
But it took a flamin' world-war fer to blarst 'is crust away.
But they took 'im an' they drilled 'im an' they shipped 'im overseas
Wiv a crowd uv blokes 'e never met before.
'E rowed wiv 'em, an' scrapped wiv 'em, an' done some tall C.B.'s,
An' 'e lobbed wiv 'em on Egyp's sandy shore.
Then Pride o' Race lay 'olt on 'im, an' Mick shoves out 'is chest
To find 'imself Australian an' blood brothers wiv the rest.
So I gits some reel good readin' in the letter wot 'e sent
Tho' the spellin's pretty rotten now an' then.
'I 'ad the joes at first,' 'e sez; 'but now I'm glad I went,
Fer it's fine to be among reel, livin' men.
An' it's grand to be Australian, an' to say it good an' loud
When yeh bump a forrin country wiv sich fellers as our crowd.
''Struth! I've 'ung around me native land fer close on thirty year,
An' I never knoo wot men me cobbers were:
Never knoo that toffs wus white men till I met 'em over 'ere
Blokes an' coves I sort o' snouted over there.
Yes, I loafed aroun' me country; an' I never knoo 'er then;
But the reel, ribuck Australia's 'ere, among the fightin' men.
'We've slung the swank fer good an' all; it don't fit in our plan;
To skite uv birth an' boodle is a crime.
A man wiv us, why, 'e's a man becos 'e is a man,
An' a reel red-'ot Australian ev'ry time.
Fer dawg an' side an' snobbery is down an' out fer keeps.
It's grit an' reel good fellership that gits yeh friends in 'caps.
'There's a bloke 'oo shipped when I did; 'e wus lately frum 'is ma.
'Oo 'ad filled 'im full uv notions uv 'is birth;
An' 'e overworked 'is aitches till 'e got the loud 'Ha-ha'
Frum the fellers, but 'e wouldn't come to earth.
I bumped 'is lordship, name o' Keith, an' 'ad a little row,
An' 'e lost some chunks uv beauty; but 'e's good Australian now.
'There is Privit Snifty Thompson, 'oo wus once a Sydney rat,
An' 'e 'ung around the Rocks when 'e wus young.
There's little Smith uv Collin'wood, wiv fags stuck in 'is 'at,
An' a string uv dirty insults on 'is tongue.
A corperil took them in 'and - a lad frum Lameroo.
Now both is nearly gentlemen, an' good Australians too.
'There's one, 'e doesn't tork a lot, 'e sez 'is name is Trent,
Jist a privit, but 'e knows 'is drill a treat;
A stand-orf bloke, but reel good pals wiv fellers in 'is tent,
But 'is 'ome an' 'istoree 'as got 'em beat.
They reckon when 'e starts to bleed 'e'll stain 'is Kharki blue;
An' 'is lingo smells uv Oxford - but 'e's good Australian too.
'Then there's Lofty Craig uv Queensland, 'oo's a special pal uv mine;
Slow an' shy, an' kind o' nervous uv 'is height;
An' Jupp, 'oo owns a copper show, an' arsts us out to dine
When we're doo fer leave in Cairo uv a night.
An' there's Bills an' Jims an' Bennos, an' there's Roys an' 'Arolds too,
An' they're cobbers, an' they're brothers, an' Australians thro' an' thro'.
'There is farmers frum the Mallec, there is bushmen down frum Bourke,
There's college men wiv letters to their name;
There is grafters, an' there's blokes 'oo never done a 'ard day's work
Till they tumbled, wiv the rest, into the game
An' they're drillin' 'ere together, men uv ev'ry creed an' kind
It's Australia! Solid! Dinkum! that 'as left the land be'ind.
'An' if yeh want a slushy, or a station overseer,
Or a tinker, or a tailor, or a snob,
Or a 'andy bloke wiv 'orses, or a minin' ingineer,
Why, we've got the very man to do yer job.
Butcher, baker, undertaker, or a Caf' de Pary chef,
'E is waitin', keen an' ready, in the little A.I.F.
'An' they've drilled us. Strike me lucky! but they've drilled us fer a cert!
We 'ave trod around ole Egyp's burnin' sand
Till I tells meself at evenin', when I'm wringin' out me shirt,
That we're built uv wire an' green-'ide in our land.
Strike! I thort I knoo 'ard yakker, w'ish I've tackled many ways,
But uv late I've took a tumble I bin dozin' orl me days.
'It's a game, lad,' writes ole Ginger, 'it's a game I'm likin' grand,
An' I'm tryin' fer a stripe to fill in time;
I 'ave took a pull on shicker fer the honour uv me land,
An' I'm umpty round the chest an' feelin' prime.
Yeh kin tell Rose, if yeh see 'er, I serloots 'er o'er the foam,
An' we'll 'ave a cray fer supper when I comes a'marchin' 'ome.'
So ole Ginger sends a letter, an' 'is letter's good to read,
Fer the things 'e sez, an' some things 'e leaves out;
An' when a bloke like 'im wakes up an' starts to take a 'eed,
Well, it's sort o' worth the writin' 'ome about.
'E's one uv many little things Australia chanced to find
She never knoo she 'ad around till bugles cleared 'er mind.
Becos ole Europe lost 'er block an' started 'eavin' bricks,
Becos the bugles wailed a song uv war,
We found reel gold down in the 'earts uv orl our Ginger Micks
We never thort worth minin' fer before.
An' so, I'm tippin' we will pray, before our win is scored:
'Thank God for Mick, an' Bill an' Jim, an' little brother Clord.'