His Bread And His Art

It was an actor, seedy, sad,
Who stood within the gate;
Long weary marches he had had
He had not dined of late.

He sighed: 'I hope I don't intrude.
Believe me or I die:
For days I have not tasted food.
A stranded player I.'

'An actor man?' the lady said.
'What is your favourite role?'
'Hot, madam, and with butter spread,'
He answered from his soul.

A Change Of Air

Now, a man in Oodnadatta
He grew fat, and he grew fatter,
Though he hardly had a thing to eat for dinner;
While a man in Booboorowie
Often sat and wondered how he
Could prevent himself from growing any thinner.

So the man from Oodnadatta
He came down to Booboorowie,
Where he rapidly grew flatter;
And the folk will tell you how he
Urged the man from Booboorowie
To go up to Oodnadatta -
Where he lived awhile, and now he
Is considerably fatter.

The Bronze-Wing Pigeon

They say I am a shy, wild thing,
That seeks the wild bush glade.
Quick to be gone on whirring wing,
Where stangers would invade;
But well I know what all birds know:
The voice of friend, the tread of foe;
And deem it wise to fear the worst
Till I have knowledge of the first.

Afar my muffled drumming sounds,
Where tangled dogwood grows;
But when you tread my feeding grounds
I am alert for foes.
A flash of iridescent wing,
And I am but a vanished thing.
Gone to be heard and seen no more,
In spite of all your forest lore.

But should you win me in the end
By dint of kindlier lore,
Gladly I take you for a friend,
And to your own house door
I come with confidence complete
To quest my food about your feet.
And, with a gravely gentle air,
Display my shy bronze beauty there.

Oh, how I love the fine old chap
Who sits upon my left at meals,
And drops his cabbage, in my lap
From swooping fork, while he reveals
How he, at Hay, in '83,
Gave Hamlet's grand so-lil-o-quee.

He slops his supper beer o' nights,
Or fills my dexter ear with stout,
While strenuously he recites,
And hurls his lanky limbs about,
To prove that every modern cuss
Has missed the true Polonius.

His oysters down my back he'll throw,
Or freely spray me with his soup,
When suddenly inspired to show
How savage Ingomar should whoop,
Or illustrate the proper scream
With which to finish 'Denver's Dream.'

He throws his turnips everywhere;
With breakfast-tea he scalds my legs;
I've spuds and carrots in my hair;
And oft he's smitten me with eggs.
If e'er he shows, with humor grim
I'll throw these things all back at him.

'A woman's work is never done,'
Said she.
'From dawn to setting of the sun,'
Said she.
'I toil and moil and work and slave,
And do my best to pinch and save,
And yet you say I don't behave,'
Said she.

And twenty men in twenty carts
In that suburban street
Long, long before the daylight starts
Are setting out with cakes and tarts
And fish and milk and meat
And cauliflowers, beans and bread
What time my lady lies in bed.

'All day I have to live alone,'
Said she.
'Attending to the door or 'phone,'
Said she.
'While you go gaily into town
To meet your friends, I want a gown,
A hat! This life has got me down,'
Said she.

And twenty men when day is done,
In that suburban street,
Who have performed the task of one
(If things more orderly were done),
Drive back along their beat. . .
It seems absurd. But, all the same,
Is it my lady who's to blame,
For all these economic cares,
Or just man's muddling of affairs?

Happy Heathen: (With Limited Apologies To G.K.C.)

The heathen's not efficient;
He sits down in the sun
And doesn't care a tuppn'y dump
When the day's work's begun.
He works to eat and eats to live,
All day he'll dance and sing;
And if you mention overtime
He laughs like anything.

But we are most efficient!
And, goodness! Look at us!
Our nights are filled with restless dreams,
Our days with fret and fuss.
And we can have depressions
And modern things like that,
And monoplanes and motor cars
And trousers and a hat.

The heathen's not efficient;
He does not value gold;
And when we'd teach him of its worth
He simply won't be told.
He'll hang gold coins about his neck
For foolish ornament,
While half a bread-fruit or a ham
Bring him complete content.

Oh, we are most efficient;
We'd pile up heaps of gold
And leave it to ungrateful heirs
When we descend to mould.
But the heathen's not efficient;
He is lazy, free, unkempt,
And from the highly civilized
Earns nothing but contempt.

Look at 'em! Toffs with their big cigars,
Drivin' along in their motor cars.
Nothin' at all like the olden days
When the blokes came by in their bullock drays,
When a cut o' the joint and a hunk o' bread
Was a meal for a king; an' a man was fed.

But beer! Why, man, they could lap a lot.
There was thousands made on this very spot;
Forchins taken behind this bar
An' never the sight of a motor car,
Or a dolled-up mug with 'is bag o' tricks
Lookin' for tucker at 'arf past six!

Struth! I ain't running no resterong
With food on the table the 'ole day long.
This is a pub - or it used to be,
An' the bar-room takin's is wot suits me.
But 'the food ain't 'ot!' and 'the rooms ain't clean!'
An' they spen's on likker - not one brass bean.

A bed an' a blanket was good enough
When thirsts was 'earty an' men was tough.
But the 'ole darn country has gone to pot
With their Licensin' Court an' all that rot!
A ladies' boardin' 'ouse, that's their lurk.
Aw, I'm goin' to chuck it an' look for work.

African Interlude

I t'inkin' da war now go for stop
Between Black Sammo, da slush,
An' Nicko, da boss of da fry-fish shop.
All sound of da conflic' hush
Since da corner-a cop he putta da foot
Down firm an' talk tinna tack;
For Nicko see wer he notta so goot
If he make-a da beezness slack.

For da corner-a cop made food for t'ink
When he spika to Nick an' say
He apply-a da sanc' so quick like-a wink
An' Nicko, he have-a to pay.
If da customer stop for come to da shop
How da beezness carryin' on?
More better, Nick t'inkin', for war to flop
If he goin' for lose da mon'.

So da cop make term for da peace discush,
All da same like lig-a-da-Naish,
'Twix' Nicko, de boss, an' Sammo, da slush,
An' dey bote getta com-a-da-saish:
For Sammo he getta two Friday free
Each-a mont' for kick-a da heel;
An' Nicko he getta clean plate two, t'ree,
Four time for each-a day meal.

But, Nicko, he go wit' da t'oughtful eye
An' mooch-a; he shake-a da head;
He donna look like-a he satisfy
When all-a been done an' said.

The Ant Explorer

Once a little sugar ant made up his mind to roam-
To fare away far away, far away from home.
He had eaten all his breakfast, and he had his ma's consent
To see what he should chance to see and here's the way he went
Up and down a fern frond, round and round a stone,
Down a gloomy gully where he loathed to be alone,
Up a mighty mountain range, seven inches high,
Through the fearful forest grass that nearly hid the sky,
Out along a bracken bridge, bending in the moss,
Till he reached a dreadful desert that was feet and feet across.
'Twas a dry, deserted desert, and a trackless land to tread,
He wished that he was home again and tucked-up tight in bed.
His little legs were wobbly, his strength was nearly spent,
And so he turned around again and here's the way he went-
Back away from desert lands feet and feet across,
Back along the bracken bridge bending in the moss,
Through the fearful forest grass shutting out the sky,
Up a mighty mountain range seven inches high,
Down a gloomy gully, where he loathed to be alone,
Up and down a fern frond and round and round a stone.
A dreary ant, a weary ant, resolved no more to roam,
He staggered up the garden path and popped back home.

I dance upon the wash-house roof,
And fill my hair with straws,
And from my fellows keep aloof.
I'll tell you why. because
The glare in every eye I see,
I hear their talk inane;
For, sure as two and two are three,
All, all are mad as mad can be,
And I alone am sane.

Jones says, if we grow too much bread
The people may not eat;
And Smith declares in nervous dread,
More boots mean more bare feet.
Black says the price of gold must jump
Ere men was rich again.
White says the price of gold must slump;
For all the world is off its chump,
And I alone am sane.

I laugh and stand upon my head
Upon the wash-house roof.
If such an act men did not dread,
I'm sure and certain proof
They'd see me right side up. Why not?
The thing's as plain as plain.
But they look grave and gabble rot,
For all the world is off its dot,
And I alone am sane.

I am the great economist;
I stick straws in my locks;
For I've the truth that all have missed
In this world's paradox.
If all mankind would but agree
(Here lies our only hope)
That two and two must equal three,
They'd all grow sane again, like me;
And I'd stop chewing soap.

Is it the dawn of a Golden Age
And a swift release from pain?
The politicians fight and rage
Where doubt and chaos reign.
But out on the fields, with one accord,
And small concern for bed or board,
Men follow the lure of the Golden Star
Out where the sand and the mulgas are.

Oh, the old dry blower's out again,
And the windlass, pan and pick:
For hope, high hope, has come to men
Where the miners muster thick.
They have made a strike at the seventy mile,
And the urgent fever grows the while;
And luck may come or fortune frown,
But these are men who are ne'er cast down.

A lucky find by the old creek bed,
A shaft in the blue-bush plain,
And a thousand hungry folk are fed.
A reef with a wide, rich vein,
And a nation knows surcease of gloom,
Depression changes to a boom:
And the fever grows as the news goes forth
From Leeuwin to the farthest north.

Is it the dawn of a Golden Age?
Oh, the ways of man are strange;
For the miner's hectic pilgrimage
By hungry plain or range.
Where never a blade of wheat has grown,
Where never a seed has yet been sown,
Shall feed the land if, 'neath this ground,
Gold, and the hope of men be found.

An Appeal To End Appeals

Sir, - I try to do my duty as a patriotic man
With sane views about the science of gastronomy;
And I'd ask the promulgators of each food consuming plan
To consider man's interior economy.
I shall not go into details. But I merely wish to say
My observance hitherto has been meticulous
Of the many noble slogans: but I fear the scheme today
Has at last begun to merge with the ridiculous.

Very nobly I responded to the urge to 'Eat More Fruit';
I bought it and consumed it with avidity.
I was keen to serve my country; and the diet seemd to suit
(If we waive a tendency to slight acidity)
Then the ringing slogan sounded thro' the contry: 'Eat More Wheat!'
I assimilated faithfully that cereal
Then we were asked to eat more eggs, to eat more oats, more meat;
While tissue waxed - both moral and material.

And now, sir, to my horror, 'Eat more butter' is the plan.
But I ask you: Can I hope to rise superior?
There are symptoms. And I fear the patriotic outer man
Is at issue, so to speak, with the interior,
On, I long to do my gastronomic duty; yet I shrink
I shudder - tho' I swear I am no sceptic
But butter! Slabs of butter! There are limits, don't you think?
Sir, I remain,
Yours faithfully,

Grey Thrush At The Door

'Swe-e-et! Swe-e-et!' Low at first and flattering,
Full of soft seductiveness on a wheedling note.
Who comes in mercy now, crumbs of comfort scattering
For a grey bird pleading from a cold, cold throat?
Just a thread of tallow-fat, just a scrap of meat!
Grey thrush is at the door. 'Swe-e-et! Swe-e-et!'

Grey bird, friendly bird, merry bird in summer time,
For summer is a merry time, full of tuneful mirth.
Sunny days are singing days. But winter is a glummer time
With lean days of scant fare; frost has locked the earth.
Song goes as sun goes, and harshly drives the sleet.
Where comes the almoner? 'Swe-e-et! Swe-e-et!'

'Sweet! Sweet!' Now it grows imperious:
A short call, a loud call, impatience in its tone.
Why am I left lingering? See, my plight is serious.
A poor bird all forlorn, starving and alone.
Grey Thrush is a-hungering, begging scraps to eat.
It's far beyond my breakfast time! 'Sweet! Sweet!'

Now a footstep on the floor. Now a sudden fluttering,
And Grey Thrush is waiting there beside the open door.
Kookaburra cocks an eye; greedily he's muttering;
But grey bird is first to swoop upon the proffered store,
A scrap of song in gratitude, then up, and off, away.
And the mendicant has vanished till another frosty day.

Dinner And Dinty

He dreaded not dark, nor the lonely road,
For the world, as he knew it, was kind.
Nor threat of the risk, nor necessity's goad
Gave fear to his innocent mind.
He was merely abroad for a country stroll:
And where lay the peril in that?
While themes so engaging delighted his mind
As dinner and Dinty the cat.

Then the summons went out and the search was on:
For the danger was clear to all.
Dread death was abroad where the child had gone,
But he answered to never a call.
He harked to the birds, and he dreamed his dreams,
As deep in the forest he sat;
And his mind went back to those two great themes:
Dinner, and Dinty the cat.

They found him at last with a smile on his face,
As he prattled of important things;
And, in thankfulness for the heavenly grace,
Men gave to their faith wings.
They pondered in fear what might have-been,
And on terrors thro' fear begat,
But he prattled away, in a mood serene,
Of dinner and Dinty the cat.

Dinner and Dinty. How much we lost
When our joy in the simple things waned.
We have learned of evil - at what a cost?
With our wisdom, what have we gained?
For how much weariness wisdom brings
As the world grows dreary and flat,
Since we lost out joy in the innocent things,
Like dinner and Dinty the cat.

'Could you give me a bite to eat?' said he,
As he tarried by my back door.
And I thought of the dull, lean days that be
As I glanced at the clothes he wore:
Patched in places, and worn and old,
Yet cosy enough to fend the cold.
And I caught the glint of his gay blue eye,
Sure sign of his slogan: 'Never say die'.

'Could you spare me a trifle to eat?' said he;
'For it's tough on a man these days.'
Then, somehow or other it seemed to me,
Some trick of his voice, or ways,
Stirred half lost thought. But I let it go,
As he said that his tea was 'pretty low':
And his sugar-bag, too, was 'well-nigh out'.
'Tho' I'd hate', he added, 'to put you about.'

'Could you do with a couple of chops?' said I.
'Some eggs and a ration of bread?'
'Why, mister, that would be comin' it high!
It's a feed for a king!' he said.
So with this, and a trifle of sugar and tea,
Tucked under his arm: 'Thanks, boss', said he.
'It's hard on the roads when yer out of a job . . .
D'yeh think yeh'd be missin' a couple o' bob?'

'One minute!' I bade him, as memory stirred.
'Have I ever seen you before?'
'Seen me?' said he. 'Why, upon my word!
For the half o' my life or more,
I been comin' round nigh every year.
An' I never yet drawed a blank - not 'ere.
An' I'll say this for yeh: you ain't too bad
As a regular customer - best I've 'ad.'

Sanctuary Scorned [1936]

Oh, is there not one place on earth
Where man's goodwill has gone from birth
Thro' adolescence, with its rage,
Into a kindly, mellow age
A tolerant maturity
Mayhap some tropic coral isle
Where even man no more is vile.
If such a place be anywhere,
Ah, take me there! Ah, take me there!
And let me know security.

Is there no haven, heaven-bent,
Where economic argument
Falls flat; where war and talk of
Are with forgotten things of yore
Anachronistic oddities
Where mankind's mental food is peace,
And bliss and brotherhood increase.
If such a place be anywhere,
Ah, take me there! Ah, take me there!
And feed me such commodities.

Where phonograph or wireless blare
Is never on the ambient air,
And calm night follows placid day
As silent seasons steal away
Tuned to a sweet tranquillity,
Where never, 'mid the traffie's roar
Red Death claims yet one victim more
If such a place be anywhere,
Ah, take me there! Ah, take me there!
I go with meek docility.

Where tender sky to placid sea
Bends down in perfect harmony;
Where mute nymphs, in a smiling bandy
Come, as I loll on silvery sand,
And, bent upon adoring me,
Pass soothing fingers thro' my hair
Were such a land, and were I there,
I should arise, and yawn, and say,
'Take me away! Take me away!
This deadly dump is boring me!'

We roam about the countryside
And view the farmlands rolling wide
A picture surely this of peace, of planty.
We mark within these sylvan scenes
The whirr and clatter of machines
That help one man to do the work of twenty.

We mark the orchards fruited deep,
The flocks of well-contented sheep,
The drowsing kine all corpulent and sated.
We gaze with gladness undisguised,
And thank our stars we're civilised;
Yet long for life a shade less complicated.

For birds, now vocal in the trees,
And beasts, with grass about their knees,
Accept in simple wise the gifts abounding,
But, of all creatures, man alone,
The brainiest being ever known,
Must scratch his head and fall to self-confounding.

Alas, that man's own cleverness
Should land him in this pretty mess
Where man blames man and nation charges nation.
Tho' wise blokes con it o'er and o'er
The sum of all their labored lore
Seems but to complicate the complication.

To pluck an apple form a tree
And feed upon it seems to be
A simple act where none could be mistaken.
Alas, our world has grown so big
That, tho' one man may raise a pig,
It needs a score to sell the breakfast bacon.

From earth alone man wins his bread;
By earth alone are all things fed;
A fact we'll recognise when we grow calmer.
Justice for all may then prevail,
For farmers first, then down the scale
To the man who farms the man who farms the farmer.

Bones, A.B. Is Reminded

Men of the sea (said Bones, A.B.)
Is touchy coves and curious,
They stands a lot, till some dark plot
Gets 'em all hot an' furious.
Tricks with their food brings on a mood
That's apt to be real shirty.
That's how come we once struck at sea
In days when ways was dirty
Them blastin', blazin', hazin' days
When ships an' seas was dirty.

We was 'Frisco bound in a ship ill-found
An' scarce a sound plank in 'er,
Wheh cook speaks free, an' he says, says he:
'There's no plum-duff for dinner!'
'Wot? No plum-duff?' we answers gruff
An' snarky like, an' surly.
'Avast!' says we. 'We'll strike at sea
Till we gets it, late or early
Down marlinspikes! The whole crew strikes!
For we likes duff late an' early.'

The old man, he don't seem to be
No ways put out about it.
'Plum-duff?' he purrs. 'Why, sure, good sirs,
You'll get some, never doubt it.'
An', cold an' hot, 'twas duff we got
An' nothin' else thereafter.
'Wot? Had enough? You swabs, you stuff!'
The skipper roars wi' laughter.
Nought else will come. Eat some, you scum!
Wot? Sick? Excuse my laughter!'

Men of the sea (said Bones, A.B.)
Is proud an' supercilious.
But that don't do, not when a crew
Grows pasty-faced an' bilious.
Whe we bore down on 'Frisco town
A sick crew 'twas wot landed
An' skipper says: 'Now, go yer ways,
An' say I ain't free-'anded!
You strikin', bluffin', puddin'-stuffin' sweeps,
Say I'm mean-'anded!
You loafin', leerin', mutineerin' mutts,
I 'opes yer stranded!'

Wangled By The Wayside

'Country blokes is kind,' he said,
And sat upon his swag
(I had no pipe tobacco,
So he said he'd 'risk a fag.')
'A country bloke's my sort o' bloke,
As I've had cause to find.
Them city coves is cold as mud:
But country blokes is kind.

'Now, f'rinstance, just you take yerself.
I meets you on the road,
A stranger, fur as I'm concerned
A cove I've never knowed.
An' when I sprags you for a smoke,
I'll bet you didn't mind.
You done your best; tho' fags is muck.
Country blokes is kind.

'Country hearts is rightly placed
A every battler knows.
If I'd have asked you for a feed,
Or p'raps some carst-off clo'es,
I'll wager you'd have searched your house
For all that you could find
In shape of tucker or of duds,
Yes; country blokes is kind.

'But city coves! - I ain't been there
For years - nigh on fifteen.
But lately I meandered down
Just for a change of scene
But rekernise a human bean?
They ain't that way inclined,
That crowd of stone-eyed strangers there.
Not like the conutry kind.

'To ask a bob for food or drink
In cities is a sin,
An' they goes an' calls a copper,
An' the copper turns you in.
But, if you pitch a likely tale,
Most like you don't git fined.
So I hoofs it back to country scenes
Where blokes is nice and kind.

'So here I am, back in the bush,
Still battlin' an' dead-broke.
An' the minnit I seen you I sez,
'Now, there's a country bloke,'
I sez. 'He's got that sort of face.'
I'm broke, but I'm not blind.
Stone-broke ... Well, I best push along ...
Thanks. Country blokes is kind.'

The Bush Veteran

Old Pete Parraday, he toddles up the road,
'Dangin'' things and 'darn in'' things and hefting of his load
For yesterday was pension day, Peter has his goods:
Butcher's meat and groceries and all sorts of foods;
A bit of plug 'tobaker' and a tin of 'jelly Jam,'
'Termatter' sauce and yellow soap, a knuckle-end of ham,
And a little flask of 'special stuff' discreetly tucked away.
'I takes it for me rheumatiz,' says Peter Parraday.

Old Pete Parraday, he lives all on his own.
People say he's getting old and shouldn't be alone.
They talk of institutions where he'd have most kindly care.
'Wot? Me?' says Peter Parraday. 'An' wot would I do there?
Lose me independence, an' be 'umble when they scold,
Eat an' sleep an' dress an' smoke just when an' how I'm told?
Shove ME in an Old Man's 'Ome to rust me life away?
I'd like to see 'em try it on!' says Peter Parraday.

Old Pete Parraday has little time to spare
For a bush hut and a garden are a common source of care.
There's wood to cut and meals to cook - a thousand things to plan
In the little kitchen-garden that 'do fair absorb a man.'
Green peas and radishes, brussels sprouts and beans,
Silver beet and lettuces - all sorts of green.
'Waterin' an' weedin' 'em, the hours they melts away,
An' days ain't halfways long enough,' says Peter Parraday.

Old Peter Parraday, he sits beside his door
To smoke a pipe at day's-end when fussy toil is o'er.
'This world it changes fast like,' says he, 'as time drifts by;
For old days was easy days when I was young an' spry;
An' cash was easy come by, with fortunes flowin' free,
An' many a man growed wealthy wot toed the mark with me.
But me? I seemed to miss the bus. Fair lost me chance, ses they,
Yet that don't seem to grieve me some,' grins Peter Parraday.

The Germ Chaser

I knew a careful lady once
Who read a book by Dr. Bunce,
A wise authority on wogs
That roam about in dust and fogs;
Indeed, he pointed out, all air,
However pure, held germs somewhere;
They clung to door-knobs, crawled on floors,
Inhabited small change in scores.
In fact, there scarcely was a thing
To which some foul germ did not cling,
Ready to leap and work its will
To some poor luckless human's ill.

The lady closed the book and sighed,
And all content within her died.
This pleasant earth for her became
The haunt of wogs, and life a game
Of hide and seek. She joined the band
Of grim germ-chasers in the land.
She scoured and scrubbed, examined food -
Which, thus far, was all to the good -
But when she strove to disinfect
Her home, 'twas worse than mild neglect;
No hospital smelled half so bad,
And then, I fear, she went quite mad.

Her eye took on a maniac glare;
She saw germs lurking everywhere.
She hung up mottoes such as this:
'Ten thousand germs in every kiss.'
She would not handle coins or take
Another's hand for friendship's sake;
Scarce dared to eat or draw a breath
For fear she might imbibe her death.
She sprayed her husband, heels to head,
With crude carbolic till he fled;
But, since she had means of her own,
She much preferred to live alone.

When going into town one day,
Wrapped up and muzzled in a way
Quite microbe-proof, from foot to crown,
A passing motor knocked her down.
And where she's sleeping soundly now
The germs have got her, anyhow…
The point of this sad tale is here:
Better be dead than live in fear;
Better live like a Stone Age man
Before germ-consciousness began;
Better take chances, seems to me,
Than try to dodge what you can't see.

When first I found this forest place
More years ago than I can tell,
I met a man of alien race
And came to know and like him well;
A humble hawker, spare and tall,
Dark faced, a handsome, bearded man;
And often now bush folk recall
The kindly smile of Hakim Khan.

He plied his trade in ways remote,
Where bush-wives pawed his varied stock:
A working shirt, a winter coat,
Socks, handkerchiefs, a cheap print frock.
They chaffered with him till, at eve,
With well-fed horse and well-kept van,
Sim Jackson's block, by Jackson's leave,
Served as camp for Hakim Khan.

And many a talk and many a tale
We had together long ago.
He told me of the pleasant vale
Of Kashmir, where the roses grow:
And, while he spoke, his fine, dark eyes
Saw nought of bush or hawker's van,
But other scenes and other skies
That held the dreams of Hakim Khan.

And while the meat, that his own hand
Had slain, cooked o'er the camp fire's glow,
He spoke of this new, kindly land,
And kind, good men he'd come to know,
His white teeth flashing in a grin,
He spoke of Jackson - "that nice man,
Grass for my horse." Small gifts could win
Deep gratitude for Hakim Khan.

For, when Sim Jackson lost his all
One summer while the bush-fires roared,
There came a figure, spare and tall,
And tossed a purse upon the board
A well-filled purse. "That help you on;
Mister, you pay back when you can.
You been good friend." And he was gone. . .
Such was the heart of Hakim Khan.

He long since left our forest place,
This hawker with the soft, dark eyes
This simple man of alien race
Who looked on life so simply wise.
Back in his well-loved Kashmir vale,
Where roses grow he ends his span.
And many a bush friend hopes the tale
Of dreams come true for Hakim Khan.

Old Pete Parraday, he isn't very wise
Or so the local gossips say - They love to criticise
His crazy views and values, and the things he counts worth while.
'Better had he saved his money,' say his critics, with a smile;
'And not become a pensioner with all his silly chat
Of finches, wrens and robins, and such trivial thngs as that.
It's livin' lonely all these years has filched his brains away.'
'An' left me kind o' peacefuller,' grins old Pete Parraday.

Old Pete Parraday, he sits beside the road
Resting from the hefting of his week-end load:
Bread and meat and groceries to serve his simple need,
And a tiny paper packet with the tag, 'Bird Seed.'
'I allus gits three-pennyworth - I've never needed more
For them there little Pommy-birds wot hops about me door
Goldfinches, starlings an' stranger-folk like they
Wot ain't brung up to grubs an' things,' says old Pete Parraday.

'The robins likes their meal-worms; the blue-wrens tackles grubs;
Grey thrushes goes for take-alls like the boozers goes for pubs;
But the little vegetarians for food has far to roam;
An' so I buys 'em bird-seed to make 'em feel at 'ome
Goldfinches, sichlike, them little stranger-folk . . .
I know 'ow people counts me soft an' reckons I'm a joke
When I talks about me bird friends. I've seed 'em nudge an' wink.
But I valyers them there mates o' mine. Cos why? They makes me think.

'They makes me think of beauty, of the glory of the earth,
An' they leads me on to dreamin'. An' wot is dreamin' worth?
Some folk might call it crazy; but it's heaven's gift to me.
Aye, vision sich as never is or was by land or sea.
Man cannot live by bread alone, nor dreams be put in words;
An', if I'm mad, I'm happy mad, an' talkin' to me birds.
Three-pennyworth o' bird-seed counts more to me that way
Then all the wealth of Sheba's queen,' says old Pete Parraday.

Old Town Types No 20 - Mr Blades The Butcher

Mr Blades, the butcher, was a large and beefy man,
'Best him at a cattle deal,' 'twas said, 'no other can.'
He ate a lot and drank a lot and had a lot to say,
And he jollied all the ladies in his large and airy way.
His family was numerous, and helped him in 'the trade,'
And townsfolk had a deal to say of money what they made.
But Mr Blades just went his way, and had his bit of fun;
And joked about his appetite, his girth, or else his 'run.'

His 'run' - a stretch of scrubland at the back of Connor's place -
Was a joke about the district; for it did not bear a trace
Of building or improvement. Yet some said Mr Blades
Had ambitions as a squatter, and a secret scorn for 'trades' . . .
Then the cattle duffers started in the district. Connors raved,
But folk said it was wonderful how Mr Blades behaved.
Tho' he lost a hundred stores one night. But soon began the rows
When people in the town began to lose domestic cows.

Police surprised the gang one night out in the mulga shades,
And took the lot, red-handed, with their leader - Mr Blades.
Of course, the trial stirred our town, as nothing's stirred it since;
But when bad Blades got 'three years hard,' he did not even wince.
His family still strove to carry on the butcher's shop,
For folk refused to pay them, and demanded with some heat:
'Think you can charge for selling us our milkers back as meat?'

When Mr Blades came out of goal, he did not seem ashamed;
A little thinner now, perhaps, but not the least bit tamed.
He told the folk he'd paid his debts, and so, by gum, should they.
So he summoned all his debtors, and his debtors had to pay.
'For our own thieved and slaughtered cows!' wailed these bewildered folk.
But Mr Blades, the butcher, had his last and richest joke,
And, on the day he left the town, people who saw him said
He looked the picture of content - so beefy, large, and red.

The Over-Fed Fuse

He has made many meals
On the Lib'rals of late,
And the way that he feels
May be judged by his state;
For the fact that he has indigestion
Is needless, almost, to relate.

In the Kingdom of wade
He has eaten with zest;
That is plainly displayed
By the girth of his vest
Now he's hungrily eyeing McGowen
And Dacey and some of the rest.

With repletion he's sighed
In the south cabbage plot,
For he's quite satisfied
With the feed he has got;
For the Libs, they were many and juicy,
And lo, he has gobbled the lot.
They have fed him on sops
In the far nortern State:
He is licking his chops,
He is feeling first-rate.
They have named him Phidkilp in that district,
Where he's dined rather largely of late.

There was quite a to-do
When he lunched in South Oss.
For he ate quite a few
Ere they noticed the loss.
But he finished his feed without winking
And is, by one mouthful, the boss.

He has chewed all the Libs.
On the old Apple Isle;
He has patted his ribs
With a satisfied smile;
And now he's quite fat and contented,
And likely rest for a while.

In the Federal crib
He has dines on 'em roast;
He's had hot devilled Lib.
And a Deakin on toast;
But he's feeling 'too full after eating,'
And languidly cheerful at most.

For this Liberal diet
Has filled him right out;
He has grown very quiet,
Exceedingly stout,
And he's taken a nap after dinner,
And has slept the session quite out.

Let us hope that, some day,
When he wakes in a huff,
The electors will say
He has had quite enough,
And prescribe him a Labor emetic,
And restrict him to plain Tory duff.

In the sweet soon-to-be,
When we open our NEWS,
Or our AGE or D.T.
Or whate'r we peruse,

When your dose is code as barble,
Ad you sduffle all the day,
Ad your head id is behavig
Id a bost unbleased way;
When your ev'ry joid is achig
With a very paidful cramb,
When your throat is dry ad tiglish,
Ad your feed are coe and damb;
When your eyes are red ad rudding
With the dears that will cub oud;
You cad safely bake your bind ub
There is very liddle doubd.
You've got a code - a code
Ad idfluedzal code;
You cahd tell how you coughd id,
But id's a got a good firb hode.
Your face is whide, your eyes are pigk,
Your doe is red ad blue;
Ad you wish that you were
Ah -
Ah -
Ah - h -
Kish - SHOO-O-O!!

I dode wad to be a boed,
Ad I do nod log for fabe,
But I have to wride to get by bread
Ad budder, all the sabe.
id is very aggravadig,
Ad this world is very hard
Whed the idfluenza fasteds
Od a sendadendal bard.
Oh, I caddod sig of subber skies!
I caddod twag by lyre!
For all the buses id the world
Are powerless to idspire.

I've got a code - a code
A bost udpleased code;
I caddod sig a sog of sprig,
I caddod bake ad ode.
For inspirashud will nod cub:
I'be feelig very blue;
Oh, would that I was
Ah -
Ah -
Ah - h -
Kish - SHOO-O-O!!

I have to wride adother verse,
Ad dode doe whad to say;
But I've got to buy some bedicid
To drive this code away;
Oh, the boed's is a hard, hard life,
His lod is very sore;
Ad if misfortude cubs to hib,
He has to toil the bore.
And dow, I thig I've bade enough.
By wridig this last verse,
To go ad buy byself sub stuff
Before by code gets worse.

I've got a code - a code
Ad agravatig code!
If I was well I'd wride you such
A charbig liddle ode.
I'd sig of labkins od the sward,
Bedeath the skies so blue,
If it wasn'd for the
Ah -
Ah -
Ah - h -
Kish - SHOO-O-O!!

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.

Gentlemen! a politician,
One who values his position,
Stands, with easy confidence,
Here before you on the fence.
For he knows full well, good friends,
All your aims and all your ends;
And that these you may attain
He will strive with might and main.

Gentlemen! my sole ambition
Is to see that your condition
Shall continue to improve;
Wherefore I shall shortly move
For a special grant to buy
Extra bedding for your sty
Force it from the Government
For the folk I represent.

Gentlemen! You crave nutrition;
And I hold my high position
By your will and by your votes.
Pollard you shall have, and oats!
And I know you'll vote for me
In elections yet to be,
While I cater for your needs,
Promising yet further feeds.

Gentlemen! The Opposition,
By its frequent repetition
Of base lies would have you think
They'd increase your food and drink.
Friends, their secret aim, I know,
Is to cut your rations low,
And, while they but sneer and scoff,
It is we who fill your trough!

Gentlemen! This talk of 'Nation'
Is a vile abomination!
You are asked to sacrifice
Food and swill, and pay a price
For a shibboleth like that!
You are asked to give your fat
That your children, by-and-bye,
May possess a better sty!

Gentlemen! The aspiration
To build up a mighty nation
Is a question far too big
For an ordinary pig.
Truly, we don't care a damn,
When we're bacon, pork or ham,
What the fate of pigs may be.
Let 'em root the same as we!

Gentlemen! This tortured question
Gives you mental indigestion.
Such vague things you do not heed.
Food in plenty is your need.
In my place in Parliament
It is you I represent;
And I'll face all vile affronts
For your sakes! (Delighted grunts.)

Gentlemen! The proposition
For the honest politician
Is: 'Can I secure more oats
For the folk who give me votes?
Can I fill their troughs, and give
Mush to them, that I may live?'
To that end he should employ
All his art. (Loud squeals of joy.)

Gentlemen! A politician
With my knowledge and position
Knows full well that such as you
Take the plain, right-thinking view;
For himself each fatted pig,
And for all the rest - a fig!
Gentlemen, I greet your ranks,
And accept your grunt of thanks.

The I'D Like To Be........ Series

The Sailor
I'd like to be a sailor - a sailor bold and bluff -
Calling out, "Ship ahoy!" in manly tones and gruff.
I'd learn to box the compass, and to reef and tack and luff;
I'd sniff and sniff the briny breeze and never get enough.
Perhaps I'd chew tobacco, or an old black pipe I'd puff,
But I wouldn't be a sailor if ...
The sea was very rough.
Would you?

The Porter
I'd like to be a porter, and always on the run,
Calling out, "Stand aside!" and asking leave of none.
Shoving trucks on people's toes, and having splendid fun,
Slamming all the carriage doors and locking every one -
And, when they asked to be let in, I'd say, "It can't be done."
But I wouldn't be a porter if ...
The luggage weighed a ton.
Would you?

The Pieman
I'd like to be a Pieman, and ring a little bell,
Calling out, "Hot pies! Hot pies to sell!"
Apple-pies and Meat-pies, Cherry-pies as well,
Lots and lots and lots of pies - more than you can tell.
Big, rich Pork-pies! Oh, the lovely smell!
But I wouldn't be a Pieman if ...
I wasn't very well.
Would you?

The Barber
I'd like to be a barber, and learn to shave and clip,
Calling out, "Next please! and pocketing my tip."
All day I'd hear my scissors going, "Snip, Snip, Snip;"
I'd lather people's faces, and their noses I would grip
While I shaved most carefully along the upper lip.
But I wouldn't be a barber if ...
The razor was to slip.
Would you?

The Teacher
I'd like to be a teacher, and have a clever brain,
Calling out, "Attention, please!" and "Must I speak in vain?"
I'd be quite strict with boys and girls whose minds I had to train,
And all the books and maps and things I'd carefully explain;
I'd make then learn the dates of kings, and all the capes of Spain;
But I wouldn't be a teacher if ...
I couldn't use the cane.
Would you?

The Postman
I'd like to be a postman, and walk along the street,
Calling out, "Good Morning, Sir," to gentlemen I meet,
Ringing every door-bell all along my beat,
In my cap and uniform so very nice and neat.
Perhaps I'd have a parasol in case of rain or heat;
But I wouldn't be a postman if ...
The walking hurt my feet.
Would you?

The Baker
I'd like to be a baker, and come when morning breaks,
Calling out, "Beeay-ko!" (that's the sound he makes) -
Riding in a rattle-cart that jogs and jolts and shakes,
Selling all the sweetest things a baker ever bakes;
Currant-buns and brandy-snaps, pastry all in flakes;
But I wouldn't be a baker if ...
I couldn't eat the cakes.
Would you?

The Disagreeable Musician

'E wouldn't play the flute; the sulky cow.
An', after all the trouble that we took
To try an' cheer,'is spirits up some'ow,
'E jes' sat there an' slung a glarsy look
To orl the crowd. The diserbligin' coot!
'E wouldn't play the flute.

After we'd done our gilt in on the spread
Fish from the Dago joint, an' bottled beer,
An' froot, an' 'am, an' saverloys an' bread
'E wouldn't eat. Jes' shook 'is silly 'ead.
An' though we begged 'im for some choonful toot,
'E wouldn't play the flute.

I puts it to yeh: Wuz we actin' fair?
Wot more could neighbors do to cheer a bloke?
We knoo they 'e 'ad troubles fer to bear,
An' jes called in to 'ave a friendly joke.
An', though we tempted 'im with 'am an' froot,
'E wouldn't play the flute.

There wuz Flash Liz, an' me, an' Ginger Mick.
An' Mother Gumphy frum the corner store.
An' Bill the Rabbit-o, an' Dirty Dick,
An' Nan the Nark, an' 'arf a dozzing more.
But strike! It seemed the comp'ny didn't soot!
'E wouldn't play the flute.

I want yer dead straight griffen. Wuz we right?
Wuz it unneighborly to look 'im up
An' 'ave a little beano on the quite?....
Fer Grief an' 'im wuz cobbers on that night.
But there 'e sat, like 's if 'e'd taken root,
An' wouldn't play the flute.

We sung a song er two to give 'im 'eart,
'An' jes' to show yeh wot a nark 'e wuz,
'E wouldn't sing. 'E wouldn't take no part.
'E wouldn't eat no matter wot we does.
'E wouldn't drink, 'e wouldn't touch the froot.
Or play 'is flamin' flute.

A blimed wet blankit at our little feast.
Thet's wot 'e wuz. 'E jes sat there an' stared
Straight out afore 'im. Wouldn't take the least
Account o' wot we did. 'E'd never cared
If we wuz rooned wif buyin' fish an' froot.
'E wouldn't play the flute.

Aw, it wuz crook! I swear I never seen
So mean a coot. An' 'e could play a treat
Play like a blinded angel, for 'e'd been
A star pufformer - played afore the Queen!
An', though 'e knoo we knoo of 'is repute,
'E wouldn't play the flute.

We knoo 'e'd been a bonzer in 'is day
Afore 'e struck the slum in Scrooge's Lane.
I've orfen 'eard it said 'e useter play
In some swell orchestrer fer fancy pay.
An' there 'e sat, in 'is ole shabby soot,
An' wouldn't play the flute.

We knoo 'e'd struck tough luck an' drifted down
'Im an' 'is missis - till they come to live
On 'arf o' nothink in our part o' town.
It weren't no fault of ours that they wuz driv
Frum bad to worse, till they wuz destichoot.
'E wouldn't play the flute.

'E wouldn't play. Jes shook 'is silly 'ead.
We done our best to cheer 'im, fer we knoo
'Is wife wuz lyin' in the nex' room, dead.
Died 'cause of sooicide, the neighbors said.
But, spite of all we done, the selfish brute,
'E wouldn't play the flute.

The Liberal Constitution

Jack Sprat would eat no fat,
His wife would eat no lean,
And so, betwixt them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean.
Old nursery rhyme

Gentlemen, I'd like to mention, with your very kind attention,
One important point I wish you all to know;
We've a policy extensive and extremely comprehensive -
Me an' Joe.
As a fact, 'tis all-embracing, just to put the matter flat;
Therefore, where's the need to mention that we favor 'this' or 'that'?

Quite unlike the other party, we're so vigorous and hearty,
We can thrive on any diet, high or low.
And, if you decide to follow us, just notice what we swallow
Me an' Joe.
It is hardly worth while mentioning what Joseph can't digest,
And, when he has picked his dishes, I, with ease, absorb the rest.

While other folks are musing o'er the menu, picking, choosing,
In a fashion most fastidious and slow,
At embracing or surrounding - all the meal we are astounding
Me an' Joe.
As an economic method it admits no ifs or buts;
For we clean up all the courses from the oysters to the nuts.

Legislative indigestion in regard to any question
Marks the party whose vitality is low;
Weaklings in the estimation of that sturdy combination,
Me an' Joe.
For the food that is politically poisonous to me
Joe takes with relish, while - well, vice versa don't you see.

I can take, with little trouble, foods political that double
Joseph up, upon the floor, in direst woe;
But they all declare, who've seen us, we're omnivorous between us
Me an' Joe.
Joseph's fond of food imported with a dash of Tory sauce;
I love fare more democratic and Australian grown, of course.

Thus, observe, in fiscal matters we contrive to clean the platters.
'Tis surprising how we make the viands go!
With our dual constitution we can do great execution
Me an' Joe.
And the others of our party have such varied appetites
That there's really very little left to feed the cat o' nights.

For, the others at the table, watching us, are quickly able
To elect the food they fancy most - although
Some they find it hard to swallow in their brave attempts to follow
Me an' Joe.
Then a little Argus Syrup or some 'Mother 'Eralds Pills'
Are most useful in averting any gastronomic ills.

Gentlemen, 'twould only weary you to state in manner dreary,
That we favor 'this,' or 'that,' or 'so-and-so,'
When, as you well know who've seen us, we can scoff the lot between us
Me an' Joe.
And I warn you to be careful of that legislative group
Which has appetite for nothing but mere Democratic soup.

Such dyspeptic politicians are not fit for their positions;
They are weak and puny creatures: let them go;
And, whatever you adhere to, you can bet your cause is dear to
Me - or Joe.
For our iron constitution is a thing to marvel at,
And, when we 'ave dined, as I have said, there's little for the cat.

A Bush Christmas

The sun burns hotly thro' the gums
As down the road old Rogan comes
The hatter from the lonely hut
Beside the track to Woollybutt.
He likes to spend his Christmas with us here.
He says a man gets sort of strange
Living alone without a change,
Gets sort of settled in his way;
And so he comes each Christmas day
To share a bite of tucker and a beer.

Dad and the boys have nought to do,
Except a stray odd job or two.
Along the fence or in the yard,
'It ain't a day for workin' hard.'
Says Dad. 'One day a year don't matter much.'
And then dishevelled, hot and red,
Mum, thro' the doorway puts her head
And says, 'This Christmas cooking, My!
The sun's near fit for cooking by.'
Upon her word she never did see such.

Your fault,' says Dad, 'you know it is.
Plum puddin'! on a day like this,
And roasted turkeys! Spare me days,
I can't get over women's ways.
In climates such as this the thing's all wrong.
A bit of cold corned beef an' bread
Would do us very well instead.'
Then Rogan said, 'You're right; it's hot.
It makes a feller drink a lot.'
And Dad gets up and says, 'Well, come along.'

The dinner's served - full bite and sup.
'Come on,' says Mum, 'Now all sit up.'
The meal takes on a festive air;
And even father eats his share
And passes up his plate to have some more.
He laughs and says it's Christmas time,
'That's cookin', Mum. The stuffin's prime.'
But Rogan pauses once to praise,
Then eats as tho' he'd starved for days.
And pitches turkey bones outside the door.

The sun burns hotly thro' the gums,
The chirping of the locusts comes
Across the paddocks, parched and grey.
'Whew!' wheezes Father. 'What a day!'
And sheds his vest. For coats no man had need.
Then Rogan shoves his plate aside
And sighs, as sated men have sighed,
At many boards in many climes
On many other Christmas times.
'By gum!' he says, 'That was a slap-up feed!'

Then, with his black pipe well alight,
Old Rogan brings the kids delight
By telling o'er again his yarns
Of Christmas tide 'mid English barns
When he was, long ago, a farmer's boy.
His old eyes glisten as he sees
Half glimpses of old memories,
Of whitened fields and winter snows,
And yuletide logs and mistletoes,
And all that half-forgotten, hallowed joy.

The children listen, mouths agape,
And see a land with no escape
Fro biting cold and snow and frost
A land to all earth's brightness lost,
A strange and freakish Christmas land to them.
But Rogan, with his dim old eyes
Grown far away and strangely wise
Talks on; and pauses but to ask
'Ain't there a dropp more in that cask?'
And father nods; but Mother says 'Ahem!'

The sun slants redly thro' the gums
As quietly the evening comes,
And Rogan gets his old grey mare,
That matches well his own grey hair,
And rides away into the setting sun.
'Ah, well,' says Dad. 'I got to say
I never spent a lazier day.
We ought to get that top fence wired.'
'My!' sighs poor Mum. 'But I am tired!
An' all that washing up still to be done.'

Swingin' Douglas

There's a breeze about the mountains, it is singin' in the trees
A song to mock the little men who chose to live at ease,
Or play at toil or pleasure where their fellows crowd and push;
But put my good axe in my hand and leave me in the bush
And it's: Hey, boy!
Hi, boy!
Heave it in the wood!
Oh, the green bush is around us, and the smell of it is good,
The great bush is before us, and a giant's task to do,
And hearty men and hefty men alone may see it thro'.
So it's: Ho, boys!
Hey, boys!
Swing it with a will!
For the saws are howlin' hungry for logs down at the mill.

The hope for man is honest work, an' out-o'doors his place,
The good brown earth beneath him an' the clean breeze in his face;
The work for man is with his hands, his muscles strong as steel,
When health an' strength within him make him feel as he should feel.
Oh it's: Hey, boys
Shake her up!
Twenty logs to get!
The tail-rope's fouled a saplin' an' the boss is in a sweat.
He's swearin' like a trooper, for they're falling grubby wood;
The boy has broke the whistle-string, which isn't for his good.
But it's: Hey, boys!
Slog along!
Watch her when she goes!
An' ringin' down the gully runs the echo of the blows.

High above us, on the hill-top, where the tall trees rake the sky,
The cockatoos are craaking and the crimson parrots cry.
From below us, where the sawdust by the mill is gleamin' brown,
Comes the dronin' of the twin-saws while the boys are breakin' down.
An' it's: Ho, boys!
Let her go!
Watch her, how she sways!
An' the loggin' truck goes lurchin' down the crazy wooden ways,
With the driver at the brake-rope - Oh, that truckie has a nerve!
An' he howls a merry 'Hoop-la!' as she swings around a curve.
Then it's: Hey, boys!
Plug ahead!
Feed the greedy mill!
We have fed her logs in dozens, but she's shriekin' for 'em still.

When you test the strength that's in you, oh, it's good to be alive
In the green bush, the clean bush, an' with your fellows strive...
There's Simon, of the sniggin' gang, in trouble with his log.
An' he slews her with a cant-hook as she wallows in a bog.
But it's: Hey, boys!
Steady, boys!
Haul away the slack!
An' the shackled giant's snakin' down the deeply-furrowed track.
Now the boss he swears to heaven that the timber's all bewitched,
An' Simon toils like seven men to get the tackle hitched.
An' it's: Ho, boys!
Right away!
Slew her at the nose!
An' the old winch coughs an' clatters every time the whistle blows.

The crowded world may call at times, but here I'd rather be,
With the strong men, the brown men, who work along with me;
With the good tan on their faces an' the clear look in their eyes
That come to men who ply their trade beneath the open skies:
The rough men,
The straight men,
With coarse words on the tongue.
An' hearts that work can never break an' minds that must kepe young.
Oh, it's swingin', swingin' Douglas with a strength you glory in,
Where willin' hands are honoured hands, an shirkin' is the sin -
An' it's: Hi, boys!
Clear, boys!
More to feed the mill!
An' the great tree whistles downward to a crash that shakes the hill.

The thrush is in the wattle tree, an', 'O, you pretty dear!'
He's callin' to his little wife for all the bush to hear.
He's wantin' all the bush to know about his charmin' hen;
He sings it over fifty times, an' then begins again.
For it's Mornin'! Mornin'! The world is wet with dew,
With tiny drops a-twinkle where the sun comes shinin' thro'.

The thrush is in the wattle tree, red robin's underneath,
The little blue-cap's dodgin' in an' out amongst the heath;
An' they're singin', boy, they're singin' like they'd bust 'emselves to bits;
While, up above, old Laughin' Jack is having forty fits.
For it's Mornin'! Mornin'! The leaves are all ashine:
There's treasure all about the place; an' all of it is mine.

Oh, it's good to be a wealthy man, it's grand to be a king
With mornin' on the forest-land an' joy in everything.
It's fine to be a healthy man with healthy work to do
In the singin' land, the clean land, washed again with dew.
When sunlight slants across the trees, an' birds begin to sing,
Then kings may snore in palaces, but I'm awake - and king.

But the king must cook his breakfast, an' the king must sweep the floor;
Then out with axe on shoulder to his kingdom at the door,
His old dog sportin' on ahead, his troubles all behind,
An' joy mixed in the blood of him because the world is kind.
For it's Mornin'! Mornin'! Time to out an' strive!
Oh, there's not a thing I'm askin' else but just to be alive!

It's cranky moods a man will get an' funny ways of mind;
For I've a memory of one whose thoughts were all unkind:
Who sat an' brooded thro' the night beside the blazin' log,
His home a mirthless, silent house, his only pal a dog.
But it's Mornin'! Mornin'! I nurse no thought but praise,
I've more good friends than I could count, tho' I should count for days.

My friends are in the underbrush, my friends are in the trees,
An' merrily they welcome me with mornin' melodies.
Above, below, from bush an' bough each calls his tuneful part;
An' best of all, one trusty friend is callin' in my heart.
For it's Mornin'! Mornin'! When night's black troubles end.
An' never man was friendless yet who stayed his own good friend.

Ben Murray, he's no friend of mine, an' well I know the same;
But why should I be thinkin' hate, an' nursin' thoughts of blame?
Last evenin' I'd no friend within, but troubles all around,
An' madly thought to fight a man for ten or twenty pound.
But it's Mornin'! Mornin'! my friend within's alive,
An' he'd never risk a twenty - tho' he might consider five.

But where's the call to think of strife with such good things about?
The gum-leaves are a-twinkle as the sun comes peepin' out.
The blue-cap's in an' out the fern, red robin's on the gate,
An' who could hear the song of them a hold a thought of hate?
Oh, it's Mornin'! Mornin'! No time for thinkin' wrong.
An' I'd be scared to strike a man, I feel so awful strong.

Grey thrush is in the wattle, an' it's, 'O, you pretty dear!'
He's callin' to his little wife, an' don't care who should hear
In the great bush, the fresh bush, washed again with dew.
An' my axe is on my shoulder, an' there's work ahead to do.
Oh, it's Mornin'! Singin' Mornin'! in the land I count the best,
An' with the heart an' mind of me I'm singin' with the rest.

Now, Ma-til-der! Ain't cher dressed yet? I declare, the girl ain't up!
Last as ushul. Move yerself, you sleepy'-ead!
Are you goin' to lie there lazin',
W'ile I -- Nell, put down that basin;
Go an' see if Bill has got the poddies fed;
Tell 'im not to move that clucky -- ho, yer up, me lady, eh?
That's wot comes from gallivantin' lat ut night.
Why, the sun is nearly -- see now,
Don't chu dare talk back at me now!
Set the table, Nell! Where's Nell? Put out that light!

Now then, 'urry, goodness, 'urry! Mary, tell the men to come.
Oh there, drat the girl! MA-TIL-DER! where's the jam?
You fergot it? Well, uv all ther ...
Mary! 'Ear me tell you call ther ...
Lord! there's Baldy TANGLED IN THE BARB'-WIRE -- SAM!
Now, then, take 'er steady, clumsy, or she'll cut herself -- LEAVE OFF!
Do you want the cow to -- There! I never did!
Well, you mighter took 'er steady.
Sit up, Dad, yer late already.
Did ju put the tea in, Mary? Where's the lid?

Oh, do 'urry! Where's them buckets? Nell, 'as Bill brought in the cows?
Where's that boy? Ain't finished eatin' yet, uv course;
Eat all day if 'e wus let to.
Mary, where'd yer father get to?
Gone! Wot! Call 'im back! DAD! Wot about that 'orse?
No, indeed, it ain't my business; you kin see the man yerself.
No, I won't! I'm sure I've quite enough to do.
If 'e calls ter-day about it,
'E kin either go without it,
Or lest walk acrost the paddick out to you.

Are the cows in, B-i-ll? Oh, there they are. Well, nearly time they -- Nell,
Feed the calves, an' pack the -- Yes, indeed ju will!
Get the sepy-rater ready.
Woa, there, Baldy -- steady, steady.
Bail up. Stop-er! Hi, Matilder! MARY! BILL!
Well, uv all th' . . . Now you've done it.
Wait till Dad comes 'ome to-night;
When 'e sees the mess you've -- Don't stand starin' there!
Go an' get the cart an' neddy;
An' the cream cans - are they ready?
Where's the ... There! Fergot the fowls, I do declare!

Chuck! -- Chook! -- CHOOK! Why, there's that white un lost another chick to-day!
Nell, 'ow many did I count? -- Oh, stop that row!
Wot's 'e doin'? Oh, you daisy!
Do you mean to tell me, lazy,
Thet you 'aven't fed the pigs until jus' now?
Oh, do 'urry! There's the men ull soon be knockin' off fer lunch.
An' we 'aven't got the ... Reach that bacon down.
Get the billies, Nell, an' - Mary,
Go an' fetch the ... Wot? 'Ow dare 'e!
Bill, yer NOT to wear yer best 'at inter town!

'Ave you washed the things, Matilder? Oh, do 'urry, girl, yer late!
Seems to me you trouble more -- TAKE CARE! -- You dunce!
Now you've broke it! Well I never!
Ain't chu mighty smart an' clever;
Try'n to carry arf a dozen things at once.
No back answers now! You hussy! Don't chu dare talk back at me
Or I'll ... Nelly, did ju give them eggs to Bill?
Wot? CHU NEVER? Well I ... Mary,
Bring them dishes frum the dairy;
No, not them, the ... Lord, the sun's be'ind the hill!

'Ave you cleaned the sepy-rater, Nell? Well, get along to bed.
No; you can't go 'crost to Thompson's place to-night;
You wus there las' Chusday - See, miss,
Don't chu toss your head at me, miss!
I won't 'ave it. Mary, 'urry with that light!
Now then, get yer Dad the paper. Set down, Dad -- ju must be tired.
'Ere, Matilder, put that almanick away!
Where's them stockin's I wus darnin'?
Bill an' Mary, stop yer yarnin'!
Now then, Dad. Heigh-ho! Me fust sit down ter-day

'Dreamin'?' I sez to Digger Smith.
'Buck up, ole sport, an' smile.
Ain't there enough uv joy to-day
To drive the bogey man away
An' make reel things worth while?
A bloke would think, to see you stare,
There's visions on the 'ill-tops there.'

'Dreamin',' sez Digger Smith. 'Why not?
An' there is visions too.
An' when I get 'em sorted out,
An' strafe that little bogey, Doubt,
I'll start me life all new.
Oh, I ain't crook; but packed in 'ere
Is thoughts enough to last a year.

'I'm thinkin' things,' sez Digger Smith.
'I'm thinkin' big an' fine
Uv Life an' Love an' all the rest,
An' wot is right an' wot is best,
An' 'ow much will be mine.
Not that I'm wantin' overmuch:
Some work, some play, an' food an' such.'

'See 'ere,' I sez. 'You 'ark to me.
I've done some thinkin' too.
An' this 'ere land, for wot yeh did,
Owes some few million solid quid
To fightin' blokes like you.
So don't be too damn modest or
Yeh'll get less than yeh're lookin' for.'

'Money?' sez Digger. 'Loot?' sez 'e.
'Aw, give that talk a rest!
I'm sick uv it. I didn't say
That I was thinkin' all uv pay
But wot was right an' best.
An' that ain't in the crazy game
Uv grabbin' wealth an' chasin' fame.

'Do you think us blokes Over There,
When things was goin' strong,
Was keepin' ledgers day be day
An' reck'nin' wot the crowd would pay?
Pull off! Yeh got it wrong.
Do you think all the boys gone West
Wants great swank 'eadstones on their chest?

'You coots at 'ome 'as small ideer
Uv wot we think an' feel.
We done our bit an' seen it thro',
An' all that we are askin' you
Is jist a fair, square deal.
We want this land we battled for
To settle up - an' somethin' more.

'We want the land we battled for
To be a land worth while.
We're sick uv greed, an' 'ate, an' strife,
An' all the mess that's made uv life.'...
'E stopped a bit to smile.
'I got these thoughts Out There becos
We learned wot mateship reely was.'

. . . . . .

The 'ills be'ind the orchard trees
Was showin' misty blue.
The ev'nin' light was growin' dim;
An' down I sat 'longside uv 'im,
An' done some dreamin' too.
I dreams uv war; an' wot is paid
By blokes that went an' blokes that stayed.

I dreams uv honour an' reward,
An' 'ow to pay a debt.
For partin' cash, an' buyin' farms,
An' fitting chaps with legs an' arms
Ain't all - there's somethin' yet.
There's still a solid balance due;
An' now it's up to me an' you.

There's men I know ain't yet woke up,
Or reckernized that debt
Proud men 'oo wouldn't take yeh down
Or owe their grocer 'arf-a-crown-
They ain't considered, yet,
There's somethin' owin' - to the dead,
An' Diggers live for more than bread.

The 'ills be'ind the orchard trees
Jist caught the settin' sun.
A bloke might easy think that there,
'Way back be'ind the range somewhere,
Where streaks uv sunlight run,
There was a land, swep' clear uv doubt,
Where men finds wot they dreams about.

'Beauty,' sez Digger, sudden-like,
'An' love, an' kindliness;
The chance to live a clean, straight life,
A dinkum deal for kids an' wife:
A man needs nothin' less...
Maybe they'll get it when I go
To push up daisies. I dunno.'

'Dreamin',' sez Digger Smith. 'Why not?
There's visions on the hill.'...
Then I gets up an' steals away,
An' leaves 'im with the dyin' day,
Dreamin' an' doubtin' still...
Cobber, it's up to me an' you
To see that 'arf 'is dream comes true.

The Corpse That Won'T Lie Still

Aye, call it murder is ye will!
'Tis not the crime I fear.
If his cold curse would but lie still
And silent in its bier,
Then would I be indeed content,
And count it folly to repent.

With these two hands I've slain the knave;
I've watched the red blood drop;
I've rammed him tight into his grave,
And piled the clods atop,
And tramped them down exultingly....
Now back he comes to grin at me.

Once have I slain him in his bed,
Twice by the midnight blaze;
Thrice have I looked upon him dead
All in these seven days.
Yet here, this night, I've seen him stand
And pluck the pen from out my hand.

Nay, never spook nor sprite is he,
But solid flesh and blood,
Who schemes with deep malignity
To stint my livelihood.
And he had vowed a vow my name
Shall never grace the scroll of fame.

My name he bears, my garb he wears,
My pipes he idly smokes;
And, friend-like, he but rarely cares
To praise my sorry jokes.
He spends my money lavishly
With ne'er a thrifty thought for me.

And when my ready cash is gone
He runs me into debt.
Stern duty he will harp upon
When I would fain forget.
But when, through toil, I would be free
He soothes me with rank sophistry.

Whene'er with resolutions stern
I sit me down to work,
And mighty thoughts within me burn,
Then forth comes he to lurk
Here at my elbow, where he clings
And whispers of forbidden things.

So when I woo some lofty theme
Of deep religious tone,
He lures me on to idly dream,
As we sit there alone.
Of girls I have and have not kissed,
Of favors won and chances missed.

He whispers of that tempting book
I have no time to read;
'One peep,' he pleads: 'one hasty look!
Where is the harm, indeed?'
And when I speak of work, and sigh,
''Twill do to-morrow!' is his cry.

And oft - too well I know how oft
Beneath his subtle spell
I fall, and dream of living soft
Who know - aye, none so well
That living soft is but for him
Who earns his ease with labor grim.

Dreams, dreams, and ever idle dreams!
His glowing art I hate!
Yet pleasant for the hour it seems,
His soothing opiate.
And, though I slay him, this I dread:
He oftener alive than dead.

Oh, I have to be so very sure,
No later than last night,
That I had pinned the knave secure,
And I was free to write
Those mighty masterpieces which
To pen my fingers ever itch.

But, with his slouch and lazy leer,
Lo, came back he to-day:
With wheedling lips against mine ear
He tempted me to play
At tennis all the afternoon.
Work and resolve forgot so soon!

Yet, spite his faults, he is, I swear,
A merry knave withal;
And when I have the time to spare
That's seldom, if at all
I'd roam with him 'mid fields and flow'rs
If he'd be still in business hours.

Each morn I bash him on the head
And hide him out of sight.
Full, sure, indeed, that he is dead;
But back he comes each night,
And on the lotus buds we feed
When bread and butter is my need.

Though many ways his death I've planned
And slain him, as I've said,
He takes a lot of killing and
He'll never stay long dead.
And, though, each day i cause his death,
I know he'll live while I have breath.

But let me vow the vow again
The vow I know by heart
And, here and now, with hasty pen,
Stab to some vital part.
And, mocked by his departing laugh,
Rewrite his oft-writ epitaph.

'Here lies the man I should not be
By all stern rules of life.
The man who's plagued and hampered me
All through this mundane strife.
A lazy, loafing knave was he....
But, sooth, he was fine company.'

Now the Wobble went out on the roaring tide,
With a dry dog trotting along by its side;
Went over the sea - and I vow right here
That the Wobble went out with its views as clear
As ever the views of a Wobble could be;
And the Wobble went out and over the sea.

Went over the sea for to represent
The folk of our island continent;
Went over to England where dukes and lords,
And princes, and barons, and earls in hordes,
And bankers, and boodlers, and scores of Jews
Were burning to hear of Australia's views.

0, the Wobble went over to advertise
(For it was a Wobble of goodly size)
The things that we grow and the things that we breed
Our eggs and our bacon and butter and seed,
The health of our air and the worth of our earth
(For it was a Wobble of generous girth)
And it's quite a true saying, as ev'ryone knows,
A Wobble's a Wobble wherever it goes.

The Wobble went forth from its native land,
And when they espied it adrift on the Strand
All the American tourists laff't:
'Why, if that ain't the double of our old TAFT!'
And when it appeared later on in The Row,
All the duchiest duchesses viewed the show,
And they said: 'There is nothing can advertise
A country so well as a Wobble of size.'

And they asked it along for a feed and a swill,
And a talk after dinner, as Englishmen will,
And there's nothing on earth like a gabble and gobble
Appeals to a healthy and well-bred Wobble.
And when it arose at the festive board
The barons and aldermen loudly roared.
With the dukes and the generals, 'That's the bloke!
That's the famous and only Australian Joke!

'It's the Globular Jest with the Monocled Eye
That makes the Australians 1augh till they cry
The bankers and boodlers and Park Lane Jews
Wept great, glad teara in the jellies and stews;
The Lord High Chancellor spllt his vest,
While the baronets, admirals, peers and the rest
Agreed with the bishops and Irish M.P.'s
That no funnier Wobble came over the seas.

The Wobble gazed solemnly round the board,
While England's nobility shouted and roared
But it didn't enlarge on the things that we grow
Or the things that we breed or we dig, 0 no;
But it struck a delightfully humorous note
As it dealt with the things we, at intervals, float.
And it gravely declared that, as ev'ryone knows,
A feller's far better without any clothes.

'For a man,' said the Wobble, 'that uses his cash
For his personal needs is exceedingly rash.
He should gather his money and bury it in
A bit of old bagging or kerosene tin
At the end of the garden, then hasten to pop
His garments and things at his relative's shop.
He should hurry to Uncle and cheerfully float
A loan on his boots and his hat and his coat.

'And when you have blewed all that little advance
Don't dig up your money - not by any chance;
But pawn your etceteras, weskit and socks,
And the spare shirt and collars you keep on the box;
For it's better for Uncle and better for you,
And better by far for the little ones too.
And the whole darn family's more content
When the wardrobe is soaking at four per cent.'

O, every baton and duke and lord
He clung to the table and shrieked and roared;
And the Lord Chief Justice was heard to declare
That a Wobble so droll was exceedingly rare;
And all the financiers, COHEN and MOSES,
Laughed till the tears trickled over their noses;
And ev'ryone shouted, with hearty 'Ho, ho's,'
'Just fancy a Wobble without any clothes!'

The Baron of Bath threw a fit, and his Grace
The Bishop of Brixton went black to the face.
And I put it to you, as a man to a man:
Do you honestly think that Australia can
Ever hope to be blessed with another such prize
As a humorous Wobble to advertise?
For it's quite a true saying, as ev'ryone knows,
A Wobble's a Wobble wherever it goes.

The Freetrade Rabbit Pie

Ses Cullen, the cockie, he ses to me:
'Now, I puts it to you in this way:
If a feller....(Woah, Ginger! Come over, yeh cow!)....
If a feller sets out fer to say
Where he happens to stand in this politics game,
And to reason the why and the how,
He has got to have somethink to back up the same,
As the sayin' is....(Woah there, yeh cow!)

Ses Cullen, the cockie, e ses to me:
'Well, I reasons it out fer yeh so:
There's this 'ere Pertection an' this 'ere....(Woah Nell!
Come over there, Ginger! Way! Woah!)....
There's this 'ere Pertection an' this 'ere Freetrade,
Which I never 'ave quite understood,
Till I figures it out be the blunders I made
While I scratched fer me own livelihood.

'When first I took up me selection out 'ere
I was votin' Freetrade pretty strong!
An' to live on the cheap was me centril idear,
An' I couldn't see anythink wrong
With livin' on rabbits, fer rabbits was cheap,
As you'll probably quite understand,
Fer, back in that time we was breedin' a heap
On me own, an' the neighborin' land.

'There wus Sanderson had the next selection to me;
He bred mostly rabbits an' debts;
An' Jones, an' McPherson, an' Sandy McGee
Had heaps of the dear little pets.
So I figgers ut out to meself, an' I owns
That this puttin' up fences is rot;
I'd be wantin' the rabbits of Sandy an' Jones
When I'd et up me own little lot.

'So I cleared off a bit an' I sowed down me grass,
An' I lived upon rabbits an' duff,
Which was cheap, you'll allow, but as months came to pass,
I was just about gettin' enough.
I was pinin' fer change, so I reckoned I'd breed
Some sheep an' a bullock or two;
But them dash Freetrade rabbits kep' eatin' the feed
Just as fast as the bloomin' stuff grew!

'It was here that I gave up me Freetrade fer good;
An' I set about riggin' a fence -
Jest a sort o' low tariff of barbwire an' wood.
(I admits I was long gettin' sense.)
'Now this,' reckons I, 'will keep most of 'em out,
While ut lets just a few of 'em in!'
You will note, all along, I 'ave not the least doubt,
I was keen upon savin' me tin.

'But I'd come to icknowledge that breedin' the pests
Was a false an' mistaken idear:
So I poisons me own, an' I digs out the nests
Till I got me place pretty well clear.
But me chock-an'-log fence was a sight fer sore eyes!
It was far frum Pertection, I owns;
Fer I stil hugged the notion of eatin' cheap pies
That was bred be McPherson an' Jones.

'An' them rabbits was cheap - you might think I was dense,
But I couldn't deny they was cheap.
So still they come in through th egaps in the fence
An' took 'alf o' the grass from me sheep....
The sudden, one mornin', it struck me - fair whack!
An' I seen ut as plain as could be:
Wot about all the grass that them rabbits took back
To McPherson an' Jones an' McGee?

'There was Sanderson's rabbits consuimin' the feed
That belonged to me bullicks an' cheep!
An' here was me helpin' 'em! Thinkin' I'd need
Of a bunny or two in the cheap!....
I was solid Pertection in less than a week.
An' me nettin' was up in quick time;
An' now, you will notice, me bullicks is sleek,
An' me mutton, I tell yeh, is prime.

'So you take ut frum me....(Woah there, Ginger, yeh cow!)....
Ses old Cullen, the cockie ses he:
'I'm a certain an' solid Pertectionist now.
fer I'm sick of the bunny that's free.
'Low Tariff' is lettin' in rabbits to eat
The grass that you want fer yer sheep,
An' doin' in chances of raisin' good meat
In the hope of a pie on the cheap.

'An' if these politicians 'as got any sense -
(An' I've 'eard as there's some with a head) -
They will give over patchin' their chock-an'-log fence,
An' put up new nettin' instead.
Fer I've found that the nettin's the sensible way,
An' I'm happy and properous now.'
Ses Cullen the cockie, he ses to me, 'Hey!
Git on with yeh, Ginger, yeh cow!'

On one fine but fatal morning in the early Eocene,
Lo, a brawny Bloke set out to dig a hole:
First of men to put a puncture in the tertiary green
Was this early, neolithic, human mole.
Gladsomely the toiler hefted his ungainly wooden spade,
As he scarified the bosom of old earth;
And our Progress forthwith started when his first spade-thrust was made,
While the cult of Work, or Graft, was given birth.

Oh, he flung the clods about him with a gay and prideful jerk,
Did this bright and early anthropoidal Bloke.
With the crowd that gathered, goggle-eyed, to watch him at his work
He would crack a pleasant, prehistoric joke.
And they gazed at him in wonder; for the custom of the mob,
When not occupied in inter-tribal strife,
Hitherto had been to eat, and sleep, and hunt, and cheat, and rob
Quite a simple and uncomplicated life.

Wherefore being new and novel, he was treated with respect,
This inventor of the job of shifting sand:
And with fresh-killed meat and fruit and furs his cave the tribesmen decked.
While his praises sounded high on ev'ry hand.
And the chieftain bade his artists in crude pictures to inscribe
On the shin-bone of a Dinosauromyth:
'Lo, the gods have sent a thing called Graft to bless this happy tribe,
And a scheme of Public Works will start forthwith.'

Ev'ry day, from early dawn till dark, the delver labored on
Till the tribesmen grew accustomed to the sight;
And the hunters, on their way to slay the mud-fat mastodon,
Would delay to say he wasn't doing right.
And the loafers from the Lower Caves, who lived by stealing meat,
All the day around the contract used to lurk;
And, when'er he paused to wipe his brow or took time off to eat,
They would yell at him in chorus: 'Aw, git work!'

Fat and lazy fur-skin-traders - wealthy men of such a size
That it took five hides to make them each a vest -
On their way to cheat their neighbors, paused awhile to criticise;
Calling, 'Loafer!' ev'ry time he stopped to rest.
They no longer stocked his larder with the trophies of the chase,
Or the neolithic substitute for beer:
For the chief said: 'He's a worker; we must keep him in his place!'
And the bloated fur-skin-traders cried, 'Hear, hear!'

And he soon became the scapegoat and the butt of all the tribe,
And he dwelt within the smallest, meanest cave,
While the rich and idle troglodytes were readiest to gibe,
Till they worried him into an early grave.
Then the minstrel (And I wot he was a wise prophetic bard,
And an anthropoid philosopher of note),
Took another mammoth shin-bone and scatched it with his shard
In his picture-script; and this is what he wrote:-

'Here lies the simple silly coot who first discovered Toil.
Him who started progress onward on her way;
Though he didn't get much fun from it, he moved some tons of soil;
But, 'tis said, he never fairly eanred his pay.
Lo, this thing called Work is blessed, for it shifts a lot of sand!
And this progress eases him who lives by tricks.
But the Bloke who lumps the Bundle, down through ev'ry age and land,
Shall be paid for harder work with harder kicks.'

Now that Paleolithic prophet on some sandstone stratum lies, With his shin-bones of the Dinosauromyth,
But the Bloke who shoves the shovel still his thankless calling plies,
And his name is Michael Burke or Peter Smith.
In the highway doth he labor, in the searching public gaze,
And he dare not pause, his aching back to rest,
Lest he cause a howl of protest from the trader of these days
With the large gold chain across his convex chest.

Lest he cause a howl of protest from 'Pro Bono Publico.'
And lest 'Constant Reader' cry his shame aloud,
He must keep his shovel moving - and he moves it all too slow
For the critics in the great White-handed crowd.
Till they get a patent navvy with a dynamo for head,
Or a petrol-tank for stomach, take my word,
He'll be ever up against it who shifts sand to earn his bread,
And the howling of the traders will be heard.