Not for vague honors, not for treacherous power
He lived and toiled thro' this, his earthy span;
But to uphold and cultivate the dower,
God-given, for enlightment of man,
Here was no tale of talents mis-applied,
But of gifts to the last hour multiplied.
Grave, kindly scrivener, moved to no swift wrath
By tyrannies or Greed's condoning pleas:
Pity was there for Vandal and for Goth
Clutching insensate at earth's vanities.
Pity was there, with truth and justice, when
He held his shining mirror up to men.
That they might see themselves; not as they seem
To smug content and sleek complacency
Lulled by the opiate of their false dream;
But as some wise, kind visitant might see
And weigh and, by wise standards, judge the worth
Of all the sad frailities of earth.
So he has lived; and so he lays him down
Leaving a picture with us at the end,
Not of some grim reformer's fretful frown;
But of a pitying, understanding friend.
And if, thro' him, this blundering world should gain
One mite in wisdom, life were not in vain.
Introduction To Ginger Mick
Jist to intraj'uice me cobber, an 'is name is Ginger Mick
A rorty boy, a naughty boy, wiv rude impressions thick
In 'is casu'l conversation, an' the wicked sort o' face
That gives the sudden shudders to the lor-abidin' race.
'Is name is on the records at the Melbourne City Court,
Fer doin' things an' sayin' things no reel nice feller ort;
An 'is name is on the records uv the Army, over there,
Fer doin' things - same sort o' things that rose the Bench's 'air.
They never rung no joy-bells when 'e made 'is first de- boo;
But 'e got free edjication, w'ich they fondly shoved 'im thro';
Then turned 'im loose in Spadger's Lane to 'ang around the street
An' 'elp the cop to re-erlize the 'ardness uv 'is beat.
Then 'e quickly dropped 'is aitches, so as not to be mistook
Fer an edjicated person, 'oo 'is cobbers reckoned crook;
But 'e 'ad a trick wiv figgers that ud make a clerk look sick;
So 'e pencilled fer a bookie; an' 'e 'awked a bit, did Mick.
A bloke can't be partic'lar 'oo must battle fer a crust;
An' some, they pinch fer preference, an' some, becos they must.
When times is 'ard, an' some swell coves is richer than they ort;
Well, it's jist a little gamble fer a rise, agin the Court.
Now, Mick wus never in it as a reel perfeshnal crook,
But sometimes cops 'as slabs uv luck, so sometimes 'e wus took,
An' 'e got a repitation, thro' 'im bein' twice interned;
But 'e didn't skite about it, 'cos 'e felt it wasn't earned.
I reckerlect one time a Beak slings Mick a slab uv guff,
Wiv 'Thirty days or forty bob' (Mick couldn't raise the stuff) -
An' arsts 'im where 'is conshuns is, an' w'y 'e can't be good,
An' Mick jist grins, an' takes it out, an' never understood.
An' that is orl there wus to Mick, wiv orl 'is leery ways.
If I wus up among the 'eads, wiv right to blame or praise,
Whenever some sich bloke as 'im wus tucked away fer good
I'd chalk them words above 'is 'ead: ''E never understood.'
If I wus up among the 'eads, wiv right to judge the game,
I'd look around fer chance to praise, an' sling the flamin' blame;
Fer findin' things in blokes to praise pays divvies either way;
An' wot they're blamed fer yesterd'y brings 'earty cheers to-day.
Yes, 'earty cheers frum thortless coots 'oo feel dead sure their God
Would never 'ave no time fer crooks 'oo does a stretch in quod;
'Oo reckon 'eaven is a place where orl folk tork correck,
An' judgment, where the 'vulgar' gits it solid in the neck.
An' Ginger Mick wus vulgar. 'Struth! When things wus gettin' slow
'E took to 'awkin' rabbits, wich is very, very low-
'E wus the sort o' bloke to watch when 'e come in yer gate:
'E 'ad a narsty fightin' face that orl nice people 'ate.
'E 'ad that narsty fightin' face that peacefulfolk call grim;
But I 'ave seen it grow reel soft when kiddies spoke to 'im.
'E 'ad them narsty sullen eyes that nice folk can't enjure;
But I 'ave seen a smile in 'em that made our frien'ship sure.
There's men 'oo never knoo ole Mick, an' passed 'im in the street,
An' looks away an' sez, 'See 'im? A narsty chap to meet!
'E'd be an ugly customer alone an' after dark!'
An' Mick, 'e'd twitch 's jor at 'em, 'arf earnest, 'arf a lark.
That wus the sort o' character that Mick earned be 'is looks.
The talk uv 'im, the walk uv 'im, put 'im among the crooks.
An' Mick, 'e looks on swank an' style as jist a lot o' flam,
An' snouted them that snouted 'im, an' never give a dam.
But spite uv orl 'is 'ulkin' frame, an' langwidge flowin' free
I seen the thing inside uv Mick that made 'im good to me.
An' spite uv orl the sneerin' ways that leery blokes imploy,
I knoo 'im jist fer wot 'e wus - a big, soft-'earted boy.
Fer when a bloke 'as come to be reel cobbers wiv a bloke,
They sorter swap good fellership wivout words bein' spoke.
I never slung no guff to Mick, 'e never smooged to me,
But we could smoke, an' 'old our jor, an' be reel company.
There 'as bin times that 'e would curse to 'ave recalled by me,
When I 'ave seen 'im doin' things that coves calls charity;
An' there's been times, an' frequent times, in spite uv orl 'is looks,
When I 'ave 'eard 'im sayin' things that blokes shoves inter books.
But Ginger Mick was Ginger Mick - a leery boy, fer keeps,
'Oo 'owled 'Wile Rabbee!' in the streets, in tones that gave yeh creeps.
'E never planned 'is mode uv life, nor chose the Lane fer lair,
No more than 'e designed 'is chiv or colour uv 'is 'air.
So Ginger 'awked, an' Ginger pinched, an' Ginger went to quod,
An' never thort to waste 'is time in blamin' man or God -
An' then there came the Call uv Stoush, or jooty - wot's a name?
An' Ginger cocked 'is 'ear to it, an' found 'is flamin' game.
I intrajuice me cobber 'ere; an' don't make no ixcuse
To any culchered click that it's a peb I intrajuice.
I dunno wot 'is ratin' wus in this 'ere soshul plan;
I only know, inside o' me, I intrajuice a man.
A Few Remarks On Goats, Asses And The Dead Hand
I don't mind kings and dukes and things;
I don't mind wigs or maces;
I don't mind crowns or robes or gowns
Or ruffles, swords or laces
But what I do object to, and some others more than I,
Are the mad old, bad old practices these baubles signify.
Good friends, brother Australians and fellow voters;
I think that you will agree with me that few of us are doters
Upon the customs, practices, fooleries and tommyrotics of the mouldy past;
Nor are we apt to cast
A reverent eye behindward upon ancient precedent:
Nor do we consent
To let the cold, clammy and unusually muddling Dead Hand
Control the destinies of this our native land.
Nay, rather do we stand
Tiptoe upon the summit of the Present, peering out,
With faces eager and expectant eyes, into the mystic Future. Have you a doubt
That in Progress, Business-like Procedure, Common-sense Habit, and Up-to-Date
Method we are all earnest believers?
Is it not so?....
Well, I don't know
So much about it. 'Twere easy to prove, good friends, that we are, in the
lump, followers of Make-Believe, triflers with Humbug and inance self-deceivers.
'Twere easy to prove that our ass-like attribute indeed surpasses
That of innumerable and intensely asinine asses.
And here, good friends, I extend to all of you my blessin',
And conclude, amidst great applause, the first lesson.
Secondly, my brothers
Right-thinking persons, men-in-the-street, common-sense individuals, and people who call a spade a spade, and others
There are full many of us who deeply deplore
The use or display of these gauds, decorations, baubles and trappings that belong to the unpractical, superstitious and quite unfashionable days of yore.
We deride, for instance, the ntion that the caudal appendage of a deceased horse
Perched upon the cranium of an erudite justice can add to his dignity or give to his remarks more force.
In short, we class as mere bunkum, bosh, flapdoodle and other sludge
The contention that the hind end of a horse can in any way assist the fore end of a judge.
The wig, the gown, the staff, the rod, the mace,
We regard as obsolete, and entirely out of place.
If there is one thing more than another upon which we pride ourselves it is, I suppose,
The fact that we scorn to wear grandpa's old-fashioned clothes.
The poor old gentleman's pantaloons, his shirts, his cravat, his fob-chain, his frill-whiskers are all anathema to us.
Good friends, why all this fuss?
Why waste all this precious energy in denouncing the wig, the gown, the mace?
They may be, in a sense, out of place;
Yet, why should these things shock you?
Believe me, they are perfectly innocu
Ous, and furthermore, dear friends,
They serve their ends;
Fo why deny these toys
To that large, mentally-bogged, and much musinderstood class of elderly girls and boys
Whose state demands some sign or symbol
To push an idea or a principle into their heads, even as the thimble
Thrusts the needle into the cloth?
Then why so wrath?
Heed ye, good friends, the parable of the beam and the mote.
Nay, I crave your pardon, but I have known a not particularly intelligent goat
To view materially essential matters with a more discerning eye; to possess, so to speak, more inate perspicacity
Than you - that is to say, us. Nay, grasp not at the seeming audacity
Of these few remarks; for perfect perspicuity
Attends them, and I like not ambiguity.
As thinking machines the ass, the goat, good people are preferable; at least, so it appears.
And here, the ending of my second lesson is attended by your deafening and appreciative cheers.
My worthy friends, ye who scorn to wear my poor grandpa's clothes
Get down from your pedestals, O ye modern intellectual giants; let each decline his scornful and uptilted nose.
Deride, would ye, grandpa's ancient mace?
Abolish it, would ye, and hunt it off the place?
What's the matter with it? It's not eating anythng, is it?
And it might prove handy if a masked burglar, or a Trust or a mad dog paid the
House a visit.
Gird, would ye, at grandpa's wig, at his gown trimmed with the overcoats of late lamented rabbits?
But, Oh! my up-to-date brothers, what have ye to say about grandpa's and great grandpa's and great-great-grandpa's ridiculous customs, absurd precedents,inance systems and obsolete habits?
What about that musty, dusty, mouldy, mildewed, hoary, Tory, injurious, time wasting, insane, inane, self-ridiculed, unwieldy and utterly unprofitable system of Party Govrnment? Great-great-great-great-grandpa's cherished
System, good friends?
Does it serve our modern ends?
Or is it, think you, obsolete and absurd?
I pause for a reply....What! Not a word?
Do I hear you raving to have it abolished?
Yearn ye to see this thing demolished?
Go to the ass, ye dullards! He doesn't eat mouldy sawdust when there's good hay about.
And here, kind friends, I pass to 'fourthly,' flattered by your encouraging shout.
Friends, countrymen and fellow-voters of this fair land,
All ye smart, up-to-date people who scorn dear grandpa's raiment, are you feeling his dead hand?
Think ye that ancient fist should interfere so in the vital affairs of to-day?
Or are ye so apathetic that you don't care a tuppenny curse either way?
'Tis cheap and easy to scoff at granpa's gauds and trappings and to the Devil send 'em;
But have ye ever seriously considered such things as elected Mnistries or theInitiative and Referendum?
Not you! You shirk, good friend, you shirk.
That means Work!
Friends, I am done....I know not what ye intend to do about it, and I haven't much hope; but, for my part,
I say unto ye, in a spirit of true brotherly love, and with my hand upon my heart,
That I have enjoyed the acquaintance of asses who were never fooled by musty precedent. Aye, and intelligent goats
Who scorned the jam-tin diet of their forebears when there was good grass about but they had no votes.
And what is a goat without a vote?