Bird Song - Kookaburra

I suspect the Kookaburra,
For his methods are not thorough
In his highly-praised campaign against the snakes,
And the small birds, one and all,
Curse him for a cannibal
Though he certainly is cheerful when he wakes.

Flippity-flop! Flippity-flop!
Here comes the butcher to bring us a chop
Cantering, cantering down the wide street
On his little bay mare with the funny white feet;
Cantering, cantering out to the farm,
Stripes on his apron and basket on arm.
Run to the window and tell him to stop
Flippity-flop! Flippity-flop!

The Music Of Your Voice

A vase upon the mantelpiece,
A ship upon the sea,
A goat upon a mountain-top
Are much the same to me;
But when you mention melon jam,
Or picnics by the creek,
Or apple pies, or pantomimes,
I love to hear you speak.

The date of Magna Charta or
The doings of the Dutch,
Or capes, or towns, or verbs, or nouns
Do not excite me much;
But when you mention motor rides -
Down by the sea for choice
Or chasing games, or chocolates,
I love to hear your voice.

Blimey! Ain't it gittin' tough?
Life gits 'arder day by day.
First a bloke ain't got enough
Words for wot 'e wants to say;
Then some nark; with nix to do,
Cuts vocab'laries in two.

'Ow can coots ixpress their souls?
Many a noble song is sung
By crook lips; an' music rolls
Off full many a slangy tongue.
Many a word o' wisdom's spoke
By some reel dead leery bloke.

Still in all, I gotter own,
If pure lingo we would teach,
Young kids' minds 'ad best be sown
With some dinkum slabs of speech.
Shove this matter in each book:
'Sling the slang; it's all dead crook.'

O! Hernia! My hernia.
'Twas here we parted dear
A parting that for four long weeks
Held me in sickness here.

But three short hours I knew you, love
Well I remember yet
I left a tram in Collins street
And suddenly, we met.

No mortal could have parted us
While reason held its sway
They drugged me, Gentle Hernia
And carried you away.

And then I knew my Hernia
Where ere what ere you are
Our parting at Coonara Street
Has left me with a scar.

A scar that I shall bear thro life
A memory of you.
And Hernia! O Hernia,
My bank-book has one too.

Bird Song - Crow

I detest the Carrion Crow!
(He's a raven, don't you know?)
He's a greedy glutton, also, and a ghoul,
And his sanctimonious caw
Rubs my temper on the raw.
He's a demon, and a most degraded fowl.

Blue Wren
I admire the pert Blue-wren
And his dainty little hen
Though she hasn't got a trace of blue upon her;
But she's pleasing, and she's pretty,
And she sings a cheerful ditty;
While her husband is a gentleman of honour.

I despise the Pallid Cuckoo,
A disreputable 'crook' who
Shirks her duties for a lazy life of ease.
I abhor her mournful call,
Which is not a song at all
But a cross between a whimper and a wheeze.

The Pallid Cuckoo

Dolefully and drearily
Come I with the spring;
Wearily and cerily
My threnody I sing.
Hear my drear, discordant note
Sobbing, sobbing in my throat,
Weaving, wailing thro' the wattles
Where the builders are a-wing.

Outcast and ostracized,
Miserable me!
By the feathered world despised,
Chased from tree to tree.
Nought to do the summer thro',
My woeful weird a dree;
Singing, 'Pity, ah, pity,
Miserable me!'

I'm the menace and the warning,
Loafing, labour-shy.
In the harmony of morning
Out of tune am I-
Out of tune and out of work,
Meanly 'mid the leaves I lurk,
Fretfully to sing my sorrow,
Furtively to spy.

Outcast and desolate,
Miserable me!
Earning ever scorn and hate
For my treachery.
Shiftless drone, I grieve alone,
To a mournful key
Singing, 'Sorrow, ah, sorrow!
Miserable me!'

Born to the sun and smiling skies,
And bird-songs to the morning flung,
To joyousness that never dies
In hearts that stay for ever young
'Twas here, beneath the shining trees,
She paused to learn the magic rune
Of those unlaboured ecstasies
That keep a weary world in tune.

The grey thrush fluting by the nest,
The golden whistler trilling high
Their gifts she captured and expressed
In magic notes that may not die.
Then to the old, grey world she gave,
Exultingly, at Art's command,
In songs that live beyond the grave,
Her message from a bright, young land.

With sheer exuberance of Art,
Won from that happy, feathered throng,
She poured our sunshine from her heart,
Translated into magic song.
And tho', alas. the singer dies,
Who bade old continents rejoice,
Not ever from our sunlit skies
Departs the memory of her voice.

The Golden Whistler

Golden bird whose golden voice,
When the summer days wax long
Cheery optimist from choice
Bids the feathered world rejoice
With full many a varied song
From the tree-tops flinging free
Golden bursts of melody.

Golden notes for golden hours
Where the sunlit waters gleam,
And the fragrant wattle flow'rs
Swoon in scented golden show'rs
To the bosom of the stream,
Singing, swinging, fluting high
None so gay, so glad as I.

Golden in the dawn's first hush
Sounds my matin, loud and long,
With a sweet, spontaneous rush,
Vying with harmonious thrush
For the bushlands Crown of Song
As the golden eye grows dim,
Sounds my joyous vesper hymn.

Golden minstrel, justly framed,
Greeted ere with grateful words
Long ere this my song has shamed
Him who fatuously named
This a land of songless birds
Seek you solace, seek you balm,
Hearken to my golden psalm.

I detest the Carrion Crow!
(He's a raven, don't you know?)
He's a greedy glutton, also, and a ghoul,
And his sanctimonious caw
Rubs my temper on the raw.
He's a demon, and a most degraded fowl.

Blue Wren
I admire the pert Blue-wren
And his dainty little hen-
Though she hasn't got a trace of blue upon her;
But she's pleasing, and she's pretty,
And she sings a cheerful ditty;
While her husband is a gentleman of honour.

I despise the Pallid Cuckoo,
A disreputable "crook" who
Shirks her duties for a lazy life of ease.
I abhor her mournful call,
Which is not a song at all
But a cross between a whimper and a wheeze.

I suspect the Kookaburra,
For his methods are not thorough
In his highly-praised campaign against the snakes,
And the small birds, one and all,
Curse him for a cannibal -
Though he certainly is cheerful when he wakes.

When dandelions star the fields
Another alien singer, I,
Nursed upon England's flowery wealds,
Seeking no tithe of treasured yields,
dropp sudden from a summer sky
To where the spangled clearing spills
Its gold about your timbered hills.

A mite in splendid motley clad,
I mark the field, I know the hour
When choicest morsels may be had;
When blooms are gay, when days are glad,
And thistledown wafts in a shower
To dance and drift and disappear,
I, who was not, am with you here.

I cling beside the thistle head,
I dance about your cattle's feet,
I revel in the banquet spread
By many a blazing yellow bed,
And feast until I am replete;
Then seek the house roof's topmost tile
To linger yet a little while.

No ingrate I, no niggard churl
Tho' what I take you well may spare
Ere azure skies have grown to pearl,
With many a grace-note, many a skirl,
I pay gold coin for golden fare,
And profer an abundant fee
In long sweet bursts of melody.

The Grey Goshawk

There is a flutter in the trees,
And now a sudden, dread unease
Stills all the bushland melodies
Amid the gums;
Stills now the song of wren and thrush,
Robin and honeyeater hush.
Now, with a swoop, a whistling rush,
Grey goshawk comes.

I am the threat: the dread king.
Grim Azrael, is on the wing,
And every little living thing
Dares scarce a breath.
And now a parrot, shrill with fear,
Flies dodging there and doubling here
Thro' inlaced limbs, in mad career
From lusting death.

Grey ghost, grey death, I work my will
O'er forest dense, o'er wood hill,
And on some tree-top rend my kill
With reddened beak.
There is no have in the tree,
There is no habor safe from me;
In many a singing sanctuary
My meat I seek.

Beware! The swift grey ghost is out!
Be still! Grey death lurks near about!
Crouch close! Shrink low! ... But have no doubt
I've marked my kill.
Grim nemesis. I never fail;
Gaint hunger is my spur, my flail.
I feast. And now away I sail
O'er the far hill.

With the advent of the Autumn
Trees behave as Nature taught 'em;
Maple, Sumach, Plum and Poplar, and the Chestnut known as Horse,
Ere they shed the Summer fashion,
Break into a perfect passion
Of sweet rivalry in color (if deciduous, of course).

Autumn comes, and Claret Ashes,
Liquidambars, showing splashes
From her palette, don the motley - Joseph's coats of many a hue:
Russet-red and golden-yellow
As the season waxes mellow.
As for me, like certain gum-trees, I perversely grow more blue.

I would quaff in ample measure
Every draught of Autumn's pleasure
Were it not a grim foreboding spreads its color thro' the mind.
And I know that Autumn breezes
Bring the first hint of the wheezes;
For, when Fall the Summer follows, Winter is not far behind.

Would I were like lucky mortals
Who, with Winter at the portals,
Shed their ills like Autumn leaves and welcome days of snow and ice.
Still, why not accept the present?
Fall brings favors amply pleasant.
Seat me - Ishoo! - id the sudlight. Autumb cad be very dice.

Loving But Leaving (A Sob Song For Conscientious Crooners)

When I led you to the altar
Vows were made, you'll call to mind
Darling wife. Now a defaulter
Must I seem if I'd be kind.
For you know how well I love you,
How I've sought work far and near;
But to keep a roof above you
I must now desert you, dear.

Because I love you I must leave you,
Wife o' mine I cherish so;
Yet the parting should not grieve you
When the whole mad tale you know.
Well you know I don't deceive you.
Since the glad day we were wed
I have loved you; I must leave you
If I'd gain our daily bread.

You will pardon the pretending
When I figure in the courts,
Suits for maintenance defending,
While, with fierce, indignant snorts
The worthy Bench a bitter potion
Serves me with vile names that irk.
Yet you alone will know devotion
Moves me. For they'll give me work.

Because I love you I must leave you;
Joining the absconding band,
That, at last I may relieve you
By the labour of my hand.
If to keep you I seem laggard,
Then my country will be kind.
Sweetheart of a brutal blackguard,
Kiss me. I know you'll understand.

The Lyre-Tailed Menura

Far in the forest depths I dwell,
The master mimic of them all,
To pour from out my secret dell
Echo of many a bushland call,
That over all the forest spills;
Echo of many a birdland note,
When out about the timbered hills
Sounds all that borrowed lore that fills
My magic throat.

I am the artist. Songs to me
From all this gay green land are sped;
And when the wondrous canopy
Of my great, fronded tail is spread-
A glorious veil, at even's hush-
Above my head, I do my part;
Then wren and robin, finch and thrush-
All are re-echoed in a rush
Of perfect art.

Here by my regal throne of state,
To serve me for a swift retreat,
The little runways radiate;
And when the tread of alien feet
Draws near I vanish: ever prone
To quick alarm when aught offends
That secret ritual of the throne.
My songs are for my mate alone,
And favoured friends.

I am the artist. None may find,
In all the world, a match for me:
Rare feathered loveliness combined
With such enchanting minstrelsy.
In a land vocal with gay song
I choose whate'er I may require;
I wait, I listen all day long,
Then to the music of a throng
I tune my lyre.

Singing morning has begun.
Where the wooded ranges run
To far summits, there the snow
Lingers yet. But down below
In the quiet, green-girt places,
Where full many a swift creek races
From the snow-lands to the sea,
Now breaks sudden harmony.

Where this tree-waned clearing dreams,
First a rosy promise be
As young dawn steels up the sky
Where the frozen ramparts lie.
Now, from dew-wet leaves a-glitter,
Comes a little drowsy twitter,
And the first swift spear of light
Wounds at last the stubborn Night.

Flashing now, bright javelins
Pierce the murk; and now begins
As Day's gleaming ranks deploy
Morning's canticle of joy.
First a sleepy chuckle, breaking,
Tells of Laughing Jack awaking,
Pausing; then, from tree to tree,
Leaps unbound hilarity.

Here's the signal .... Morning's hush
Sweetness shatters, as Grey Thrush,
Veiling with the seraphim,
Lifts his liquid matin hymn.
Golden Whistler joins him then,
Now Red Robin, now Blue Wren;
Magpie's trumpet, sounding, swelling,
Caps the eager chorus welling,
As a wealth of varied notes
Pours now from a hundred throats
Up to greet their lord, the Sun,
Morning, morning has begun!

Gin you're gangin' doon the city
Come next Sabbath afternoon,
An' you'll catch a glimpse o' Tartan
An' you'll hear a skirlin' tune;
An' you'll see a crowd o' laddies
Lookin' verra dour an' staid,
Wi' just here an' there a Cairngorn,
An' a wee tiny speck o' plaid;
Dinna think from their expression
They are on some mission sad
For their thoughts are back wi' Bobbie,
Wi' the braw, brave ploughman lad.

Once again they'll see him treadin'
Dreary-eyed behind the plough,
With his thoughts amonsgt the angels
And a brave light on his brow.
Once again they'll see him sparking
By the burnside and the glen,
Wi' another sort of angel
An' a sonsy lass ye ken.
Aye, a thousand sober Scotsmen
On the Sabbath afternoon,
Will be back again with Bobbie
With a graceless, godlike gloom.

But they'll not tell of his tailin's;
He was human, he was young,
But they'll join him in his dreaming,
And the rare brave songs he sung
Singing songs of bonny Scotland,
That will never fade with time:
Noble thoughts of truth and beauty
That is genius put in rhyme
And they'll love him for his dreaming
Aye, and for his failin's, too,
When their thoughts go back to Bobbie,
Sweetest singer Scotland knew

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.

Ma Mammy's Done Me In: A New Theme Song

MA-A-AMMY! Ma-a-ammy!
The sun's gone east
And he's left out west
Where, in old days, the sun shone best.
Ma-a-ammy! Ma-a-ammy!
What have you done to poor ole Uncle Sammy?
You would go talkin'
In them dear ole silent days.
You would go squawkin'
Them silly ole jazz-time lays.
Ma-a-ammy! Ma-a-ammy!
Since you introdooced the din
We have done the dollars in -

Say, ole lady, you did start sump'in' when you began shootin' off your mouth in the fillums. Here we was, sittin' pretty, when Al had to go an' hand you that sob-stuff an' shoot up the whole works. Say, ain't you never heard Shakespeare's wisecracks about silence being golden? I'll say it was.

The fourth largest industry in good ole U.S.A. while it kept its mouth shut! But from the minute the first squawks came out of them ole amplifiers the Britishers put the skids under us, an' we ain't stopped slidin' yet.

Who was it said that it was not until Hollywood started to say sump'in' that she proved herself plumb dumb? say, isn't that the truth?

MA-A-AMMY! Ma-a-ammy!
We was perched right up
On the world's high top,
But you spoke your piece an' we done a flop.
Ma-a-mmy! Ma-a-ammy!
Why didn't you stay in good ole Alabamy?
Ma-a-am -

Aw! What's the use? Hand us a snort of rye someone. What's the sense of talkin' to try to prove talkin' ain't good business? We been horsewoggled!

The Drought King's Trumpeter

Said old Pete, the Pensioner:
'I met him down the road
Where, twixt the shadders of the gums,
The silver moonlight flowed.
His skin was white like shrivelled grass,
His eyes was eyes o' flame.
He was the Drought King's trumpeter,
An' tooted as he came.
He tooted on a holler bone, of some thing dead o' thirst,
Like dry winds a-moanin' low. Then into song he burst:

'Ho! The Drought King's a-comin, as he came to men afore,
Out of his home within the sun. They're flingin' wide the door.
Then shall Folly flee before him an' Destruction spread behind.
He comes to purify the earth an' chasten humankind. . . .,'
I saw the Drought King's trumpeter as plain as I see you.
An' not a dropp inside o' me - save, maybe, one or two.'

Said old Pete, 'I saw him there
Underneath the moon,
He tooted on his holler bone
An' danced a rigadoon.
I took one look into his face
Then fled into the night;
I fell in thro' my old hut door
An' banged an' barred it tight.
But thro' the night I heard him there; the way he keened an' cried,
The callin' of the curlew was sweet melody beside.

'Ho! The Drought King's a-comin' from his home within the sun
To lay his curse upon the earth for sins that men have done.
Grace ye had an' gifts ye had, but gambled 'em away
An' schemed to make a mockery of many a fruitful day. . . .'
I tell yeh, man, 'twas not the wind! I heard him at my door.
An' ne'er a dropp inside o' me - save maybe, three or four.'

When Leonardo was a lad there was a certain set
Who snubbed him most outrageously - in fact, they snub him yet
He wasn't in the fashion, so he wasn't in the fold;
Before his death he was too new, and now he grows too old.
Because his art was new to them the snobs of Florence laughed;
And now, because he isn't new, the moderns scorn his craft.
'Da Vinci? Don't be crude, my dear! Call him an artist? Pshaw!
Why that old anachronism, so they say, knew how to draw!'

They have wandered thro' the ages, mouthing cliches as they go.
At first nights, and private views, 'mid the people 'one should know.'
But the artist goes on laughing as thro' every age he's laughed
At snobs who patronise the 'Arts,' but boggle at the craft.

When Shakespeare sought draw the crowds and please the taste of town
And watched box office takings with a worn and worried frown,
Kit Marlowe knew, Ben Jonson knew what stuff was in the lad;
But the dilettanti voted him quite definitely bad.
The fellow simply stole his plots, they said with lofty sneers,
And served them up most vulgarly to tickle groundling's ears.
'Will Shakespeare? That cheap showman!
Why the man's quite gauche, my dear!
I prefer them cultivated like dear Bacon and de Vere. '

So reputations surge and sink as lifts and ebbs the tide,
Now wallowing within the trough, now on the crest they ride.
But the snobs are ever with us, snobs of art, of place, of pelf.
And reading this, I rather think I might be one myself.

An 'Ode to the Moon' did he indite
With his two-and-half soul-power.
('Twas the child of a starlit summer night,
Begot by a gloomy hour.)

And he vowed it was a work immense,
And he quoted it a lot,
And be published it at his own expense;
But the cold, hard world said - 'Rot!'

And he wrote him ringing verse of horse,
And the stockman, and his pipe,
And the brooding bushland; but, of course,
The world just murmured - 'Tripe!'

So he sat him down for another fling,
And his time-exposure mind
Evolved a topical sort of thing,
Of a gay and hum'rous kind.

And he looked to see the world go wild,
And laugh until it cried;
But the verse was poor and the humor mild,
And - 'Bosh!' the tired world sighed.

Then he oiled his weird, ball-bearing mind,
In a dull, despairing mood,
And he wrote a thing of a cryptic kind,
Which nobody understood.

'Twas an ode to the 'Umph' and the 'Thingmebob,'
With a lilt and a right good ring,
And hints of a smirk, a snarl, a sob,
And a murky murmuring.

Nay, nobody understood a word,
Nor strove to understand;
But few dared say it was absurd,
So most agreed 'twas 'Grand!'

Then be let his hair grow lank and long,
And an air intense he got,
And ever he strove to nurse in song
The cult of the 'Dunnowhat.'

And now he never writes in vain,
But a famous man is he,
With a ten soul-power and a chuck-lathe brain,
And an air of mystery.

So, of his lot take heed; I wot
If you aspire to fame,
Don't waste a tune on horse or moon,
But rave of Whatsitsname;
It's tame,
But still it's Whatsitsname.

Song Of Insane Gardener

Oh, I dance upon the lawn in the cold, white dawn,
And I gloat upon the corpses of a countless million slain;
Where the frost about my feet spreads its winter winding sheet
There I chuckle and I chortle as I chant my mad refrain;
'Lime and sulphur, Paris green, arsenate of lead,
Benzole couldn't kill 'em; but they're dead, dead, dead.'

Men have said I went insane when the Summer brought its bane:
Beetle, bug, and butterfly, weevil, wog and worm,
And a thousand million thrips with my garden came to grips
Plus a plague of things that fly and creep and crawl and squirm.
Lime and sulphur, Paris green, arsenate of lead,
They sneered at 'em, and leered at 'em, and gaily gorged ahead.

They fell upon my fancy phlox, hyacinths and hollyhocks;
Amaryllis, antirrhinum, lupin, lily, all were lost.
All my garden's vanished glory now remained a sorry story,
While, dismayed, I sprayed and sprayed and reckoned not the cost.
Lime and sulphur, Paris green, arsenate of lead -
Vain were these till nights afreeze dire destruction spread.

Lifeless lie the pupa cases, larvae leave no least lone traces.
Apphis eggs (if there be any) are a pest now haply past.
With a mad song in my throat, in the dawn I dance, I gloat;
For my eveil days have ended, and revenge is here at last.
Vain the Paris green, the sulphur; vain the arsenate of lead;
Fourteen frosty nights have finsihed all the olden dread.

So I dance upon the lawn in the cold, white dawn,
And I chortle o'er cadavers of a countless million slain.
Men may moan and deem it sad, vowing that I am as mad
As a hatter. what's it matter? Join my maniac's refrain:
'Lime and sulphur, Paris green, arsenate of lead,
Benzole couldn't kill 'em; but they're dead, dead, dead.'

Old Town Types No. 29 - Miss Trapp, The Music Teacher

You're playing it by ear, boy! Eyes upon the score!'
Miss Trapp, the music teacher, very prim and staid,
English and respectable, the town's old maid,
Sitting in her 'front room,' elderly and stern,
While a grubby urchin struggles with the notes he'll never learn.
You're playing it at random! This will nevah, nevah do!'

No one knew her history or why she settled down
To 'Singing and Pianoforte' in our old town;
With her soft voice and grey dress, the folk called her 'The Dove;'
And the story somehow got about that she'd been 'crossed in love.'
And so, her fancied tragedy clothed her in vague romance
'So well-connected, too, my dear. You'd see that that a glance'
With her 'One-and-two-and - Oh, you stupid child!'
And the rap upon the knuckles was both lady-like and mild.

She sang at local concerts in a cultured voice and thin,
And the back seats applauded her with many a covert grin:
'Her voice is gettin' rusty; but the ole girl does her best.'
But the front seats said, 'Beautiful! How training stands the test!'
Yet all combined, in kindliness with varied tact displayed,
To make the path no thornier for our old maid,
Whose spinsterhood was quite an institution in the town,
With her 'One-and-two-and ...' And then she let us down.

For years she'd dwelt among us - our one 'lady,' prim and pure.
In her neat dove-grey dress, and manner most demure,
A regular museum piece, who knew just what was 'done.'
And then an English 'toff' came up to say to Connor's run.
Rich, it was said, and elderly; and, to the town's dismay,
He took and married our old-maid and hastened her away,
With her 'One-and-two-and ...' Of culture now bereft,
The town's 'tone' departed when our music teacher left.

The Hacking Song

Yes, it's tryin', Mrs Gudgits. Very tryin', as you say.
To 'ave a 'usban' on yer 'an's not only night but day.
An' so I can't go out with you, much as I wisht I could;
For me Jack is in there, gaspin' an' 'e's feelin' none too good.
With 'is ''Ack! 'Ack! 'Ack!' Lor! I bangs 'im on the back
An' 'e curses me a treat for my stoopidity.
''It a man,' 'e sez, 'wot's sick!' Oh 'is temper's awful quick,
An' it ain't so much the 'eat as this youmidity.

Oh, I tries to in-ter-est 'im in the topics of the day,
An' I reads 'im from the noos wot Musserlini 'as to say
But 'e sez, 'If Musserlini 'ad me bronkil choobs an' chest,
'E'd 'ave somethink else to think about, an' give 'is was a rest.'
Then it's, ''Ack! 'Ack! 'Ack!' till 'is face is nearly black,
But 'e manidges to say, with much acidity,
'Blowin' peaceful blokes to death - 'Then 'e stops fer want a' breath.
An' it ain't so much the 'eat as this youmidity.

Then I reads the weather forecask - all about the low an' 'igh,
An 'ow they sez most like the change is passin' Melbun by
But 'e ups an' calls 'em liars, an' 'e starts to rave an' curse.
Sez I read that bit a-purpis for to try an' make 'im worse.
Then it's ''Ack! 'Ack! 'Ack!' But, if I creeeps to the back,
'E recovers with remarkable rapidity.
An' 'e yells, ''Ere! where ya goin'? Don't you leave a man alone!'
An' it ain't so much the 'eat as this youmidity.

Yes; a woman must 'ave patience, Mrs Gudgits, as you say.
An' I knows without your 'intin', mum, that it's my turn to pay.
So you needn't cast nasturtiums; very gladly would I shout,
But, with a 'usban' like 'e is - well, 'ow can I git out?
Listen: ''Ack! 'Ack! 'Ack!' Yeh needn't yell. I'm comin', Jack!
There, Mrs Gudgits. That's the chief awkwidity:
Day an' night I must stop in; an' I do so miss me gin
Not so much because of 'eat as this youmidity.

The Song Of The Sulky Stockman

Come, let us sing with a right good ring
(Sing hey for lifting lay, sing hey!)
Of any old, sunny old, silly old thing.
(Sing ho for the ballad of a backblock day!)
The sun shone brightly overhead,
And the shearers stood by the shearing shed;
But "The run wants rain," the stockman said
(Sing di-dum, wattle-gum, Narrabori Ned.
For a lifting lay sing hey!)

The colts were clipped and the sheep were shorn
(Sing hey for a lilting lay, sing hey!)
But the stockman stood there all forlorn.
(Sing ho for the ballad of a backblock day!)
The rails were up and the gate was tied,
And the big black bull was safe inside;
But "The wind's gone West!" the stockman sighed
(Sing, di-dum, wattle-gum, rally for a ride.
For a lifting lay sing hey!)

The cook came out as the clock struck one
(Sing hey for a lilting lay, sing hey!)
And the boundary rider got his gun.
(Sing ho for the ballad of a backblock day!)
He fired it once at an old black crow;
But the shot went wide, for he aimed too low;
And the stockman said, "Fat stock is low."
(Sing, di-dum, wattle-gum, Jerridiiii Joe.
For a lifting lay sing hey!)

They spread their swags in the gum-tree's shade
(Sing hey for a lilting lay, sing hey!)
For the work was done and the cheques were paid.
(Sing ho for the ballad of a backblock day!)
The overseer rode in at three,
But his horse pulled back and would not gee,
And the stockman said, "We're up a tree!"
(Sing, di-dum, wattle-gum, Johnny-cake for tea.
For a lilting lay sing hey!)

The sun sank down and the stars shone out
(Sing hey for a lifting lay, sing hey!)
And the old book-keeper moped about.
(Sing ho for the ballad of a backblock day!)
The dingo walled to the mopoke's call,
The crazy colt stamped in his stall;
But the stockman groaned, "it's bunk for all."
(Sing, di-dum, wattle-gum, wattle-gum, wattle-gum,
Hey for a backblock day!
Sing hey!
Sing hey for a lifting lay!)

Sing a song o' Hempire
Mother's took a fit,
Nasty Germans buildin' ships,
An' never mentioned it.
Buildin' beastly warships,
Quite a tidy few;
Mother's got an awful start
Baby's got it too.

The King was in the Customs House,
But couldn't find a penny ;
The Lords were at their country seats
And didn't offer any;
A millyun paupers mooned about
With nothin' much to eat,
When down comes Australyer
With a Dreadnought fer the fleet.
Sing a song o' Warships,
'Orrid ole Bulow,
Layin' down 'is Dreadnoughts
An' didn't let us know
Didn't advertise it,
Till the Cablegram
Spread the awful tidings
An' the Empire shouted, 'Damn!'

Sing a song o' Hempire,
Mother's up a tree;
But the Melbourne Stock exchange
'As swore to set 'er free.
Does the German caitiff
Build upon the sly?
Then seventeen suburban may'rs
Will know the reason why!

Seventeen suburban may'rs
Of the Bulldog Breed
Fly to succor Hingland
In her hour of need.
What of 'Constant Reader'?
'Pro Bono Publico'?
Will 'Subscriber' see old Hingland
Flabbergasted? No!!

A reeiy, trooly battleship,
With guns an' things galore,
And splendid sails of calico
From MacMillan's store
The Stock Exchange will float it
On a sea of gush.
Wot's two millyun quid to us?
We don't care a rush!

(But - whisper - little mother,
If, later on, some day,
We want ter sorter float a loan,
To 'elp us on our way
Borrer of it back, like
After wot 'as passed,
Don't you go an' crool our pitch,
Like you did the last.)

Sing a song o' Britain's fleet
('Ow the Tories raged!)
That's goin' to guard Australyer
(If not otherwise engaged).
Sing of 'Umpty Dumpty
'Im that 'ad the fall.
Rob Australian Peter
To pay old Hinglish Paul.

Sing o' topsy-turvey;
Sing of inside-out,
Of back-to-front and upside-down
An' t'other way about.
Spend ten bloomin' millyun,
Buy yer ships galore,
An' send them all to Hingland
To guard Australyer's shore.

Sing a song o' Hempire!
We've got ter guard 'the heart.'
If it gets a limb lopped off,
That ain't a vital part.
Learn ter think Imperially
Shriek with courage grim
Fer 'the heart' must be protected
Tho' it's tough if we're the limb.

O, the trees grow straight and the trees grow tall,
And the trees grow all around;
And the long limbs sprout the trunks about,
Where the Davlo owl is found.
And the Davlo bird is most absurd
In the early days of June;
For he sings this song the whole day long,
To a strange, fantastic tune.

'O, ink, ink, ink! I sit and think;
I brood on the Wildwood Tree;
But, near or far, on Ingavar,
No ink, no ink I see.
And late or soon the swift cartoon
Must soar to the Utmost Star.
O, ink, ink, ink! I swoon! I sink!
O, inkless, Ingavar!'

O, the trees grow long, and the trees grow strong,
And the tress grow good and green,
And the gloomy shades steal thro' the glades
Where the Halgi Tit is seen.
And the Halgi Tit he loves to sit
On the frond of a swaying fern,
And croon, and croon, to a low, loose tune
This nervous, nude Nocturn.

'Chow-white, chow-white! All night, all night,
While the moon peeps thro' the leaves,
And the sad wind soughs thro' inlaced boughs,
Where the shadows creep like thieves.
I cry, and yearn for the Nude Nocturn!
O, I seek her near and far!
Chow-white, chow-white! I croon all night,
Thro' the glades of Ingavar.'

O, the trees grow pale, and tall trees quail,
And the sacred trees whisper soft.
And the startled bush it murmurs 'Hush!'
When the Denawk swoops aloft.
And, as he swoops, he shrieks and whoops
In a ruthless, Rhythmic way;
For twixt the trees and the sobbing breeze
The Denawk seeks his prey.

'Ho, rhyme, rhyme, rhyme! All fat and prime!
I live by rhyme alone!
In bush and town I hunt it down,
And tear it flesh from bone.
With a purpose grim for the synonym
I forage near and far;
And I rend my prey in a rhythmic way
On the gums of Ingavar.'

O, yearning trees! O, burning trees
O, trees that bend and sway!
The good brown earth that gave you birth
Is very damp to-day.
In mire and mud we slid we've slud;
Our boots are filled with slime
Farewell ye gums till summer comes
Farewell till Summertime.

The Davlo hoots, the Halgi toots,
The Denawk swoops no more
Alone to yearn, the Nude Nocturn
Adorns your leafy floor.
But Trees, O, trees, what ecstacies
Thrill thro' you, root and spar,
When the Lord High Pot comes up to squat
In the Glades of Ingavar,
Green glades of Ingavar.

A Song Of Anzac

'When I'm sittin' in me dug-out, with me rifle on me knees,
An' a yowlin', 'owlin' chorus comes a-floatin' up the breeze
Just a bit o' 'Bonnie Mary'
Or 'Long Way to Tipperary'
Then I know I'm in Australia took an' planted overseas...'

So we sang in days remembered - fateful days of pain and war
When the young lads went forth singing, ship-bound for an unknown shore.
They were singing, ever singing, careless lads in careworn days,
Sturdy youths, but yet unblooded to red war's unholy ways.
From a land untouched by slaughter
Fared they forth across the water:
Some to Destiny's grim gateway where the scarlet poppy sways.

* * * *

'They were singin' on the troopship, they were singin' in the train;
When they left their land behind them they were shoutin' a refrain.
An' I'll bet they have a chorus
Gay an' glad in greetin' for us
When their bit of scrappin's over an' they sail back home again...'

So we sang to dull the aching that was looming even then
When the boys went out to battle, to come back stern fighting men.
So we strove to keep hope buoyant while they lived untouched by war,
But they came back, not with singing, when those anxious days were o'er
Disillusioned and war-weary,
And, for all their smiles were cheery,
Some came bitter, some came broken, some, they came back nevermore.

And today again they're marching, rugged veterans, grey and grave
These, who joined the carefree chorus, shouting many an olden stave
To the tramping cohorts' motion;
To the rolling of the ocean;
In their singing seeking kinship that high youth must ever crave.
Aye, today again they're marching with old faith and fellowship;
Grave and grey, with memory marching, but no song lifts to the lip.
Year by year the Boys are gathered; year by year the count grows fewer;
But the flame, new-lit on Anzac, goes before them burning pure;
And the Song of Anzac ringing
High above them, sounding, swinging,
Tells that memory of Anzac shall endure while these endure.

* * * *

They are marching with the old days, with the singing in their hearts,
With the memory of mateship that for not one hour departs:
Silent men, with sober faces,
Marking now the vacant places
Yearly growing, yearly showing where life ends and hope re-starts.
That trimphant Song of Anzac that the living Anzac hears -
Hears imperfectly and dimly,
As he tramps on gravely, grimly
Haunts the old familiar roadway he has trodden thro' the years.
Done are these with youth's vain dreaming who have yet to pay earth's price,
These who harked to young mates singing,
These who saw their young souls winging,
Ever singing, blithely singing, to the gates of Paradise.

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.

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!

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.

The world 'as got me snouted jist a treat;
Crool Forchin's dirty left 'as smote me soul;
An' all them joys o' life I 'eld so sweet
Is up the pole.
Fer, as the poit sez, me 'eart 'as got
The pip wiv yearnin' fer -- I dunno wot.

I'm crook; me name is Mud; I've done me dash;
Me flamin' spirit's got the flamin' 'ump!
I'm longin' to let loose on somethin' rash....
Aw, I'm a chump!
I know it; but this blimed ole Springtime craze
Fair outs me, on these dilly, silly days.

The young green leaves is shootin' on the trees,
The air is like a long, cool swig o' beer,
The bonzer smell o' flow'rs is on the breeze
An 'ere's me, 'ere,
Jist mooching around like some pore, barmy coot,
Of 'ope, an' joy, an' forchin destichoot.

I've lorst me former joy in gettin' shick,
Or 'eadin' browns; I 'aven't got the 'eart
To word a tom; an' square an' all, I'm sick
Of that cheap tart
'Oo chucks 'er carcis at a feller's 'head
An' mauls 'im ... Ar! I wish't that I wus dead!...

Ther's little breezes stirrin' in the leaves,
An sparrers chirpin' 'igh the 'ole day long;
An 'on the air a sad, sweet music breaves
A bonzer song --
A mournful sorter choon thet gits a bloke
Fair in the brisket 'ere, an' makes 'im choke...

What is the matter wiv me? ... I dunno.
I got a sorter yearning 'ere inside,
A dead-crook sorter thing that won't let go
Or be denied --
A feelin' I want to do a break,
An' stoush creation for some woman's sake.

The little birds is chirpin' in the nest,
The parks an' gardings is a bosker sight,
Where smilin' tarts walks up an' down, all dressed
In clobber white.
An', as their snowy forms goes steppin' by,
It seems I'm seekin' something on the sly.

Somethin' or someone -- I don't rightly know;
But, seems to me, I'm kind er lookin' for
A tart I knoo a 'undred years ago,
Or, maybe, more.
Wot's this I've 'eard them call that thing? ... Geewhizz!
Me ideel bit o' skirt! That's wot it is!

Me ideel tart! ... An, bli'me, look at me!
Jist take a squiz at this, an' tell me can
Some square an' honist tom take this to be
'Er own true man?
Aw, Gawd! I'd be as true to 'er, I would --
As straight an' stiddy as ... Ar, wot's the good?

Me, that 'as done me stretch fer stoushin' Johns,
An' spen's me leisure getting on the shick,
An' 'arf me nights down there in Little Lon.,
Wiv Ginger Mick,
Jist 'eading 'em, an' doing in me gilt.
Tough luck! I s'pose it's 'ow a man is built.

It's 'ow Gawd builds a bloke; but don't it 'urt
When 'e gits yearnin's fer this 'igher life,
On these Spring mornin's, watchin' some sweet skirt --
Some fucher wife --
Go sailin' by, an' turnin' on his phiz
The glarssy eye -- fere bein' wot 'e is.

I've watched 'em walkin' in the gardings 'ere --
Cliners from orfices an' shops an' such;
The sorter skirts I dursn't come too near,
Or dare to touch.
An, when I see the kind er looks they carst ...
Gorstooth! Wot is the use o' me, I arst?

Wot wus I slung 'ere for? An' wot's the good
Of yearnin' after any ideel tart?
Ar, if a bloke wus only understood!
'E's got a 'eart:
'E's got a soul inside 'im, poor or rich.
But wot's the use, when 'Eaven's crool'd 'is pitch?

I tells meself some day I'll take a pull
An' look around fer some good, stiddy job,
An' cut the push fer good an' all; I'm full
Of that crook mob!
An', in some Spring the fucher 'olds in store,
I'll cop me prize an' long in vain no more.

The little winds is stirrin' in the trees,
Where little birds is chantin' lovers' lays;
The music of the sorft an' barmy breeze ...
Aw, spare me days!
If this 'ere dilly feelin' doesn't stop
I'll lose me block an' stoush some flamin' cop!

A Guide For Poits

I ain't no verse-'og. When I busts in song
An' fills the air wiv choonful melerdy,
I likes fer uvver coves to come along
An' biff the lyre in company wiv me.

So, when I sees some peb beguile an hour
Be joinin' in the chorus o' me song,
I never sees no use in turnin' sour;
Fer singin' days wiv no one larsts too long.

I'd like to see the Rocks an' Little Lon
Grow centres for the art uv weavin' rhyme,
Wiv dinky 'arps fer blokes to plunk upon,
An' spruiking poits workin' overtime.

I'd love to listen to each choonful lay
Uv soulful coots who scorn to write fer gain;
To see True Art bloom down in Chowder Bay,
An' Culcher jump the joint in Spadger's Lane.

Gawstruth! fer us life's got no joy to spare,
We're short uv bird songs, 'soarin' clean an' pure.'
A bloke is 'ardly orf the bottle there
Before 'e's in the jug -- a bird fer sure.

So 'oo am I to say no blokes shall sing
Jist 'ow an' where an' when sich blokes may choose?
She's got no lines to show, nor yet no ring.
Lor' blim'me! I ain't married to me Muse!

An, square an' all, to show there's no offence,
To show that in me 'eart true friendship lies,
I gives free gratis, an wivout ixpense,
A few igzamples, just to put 'em wise.

First, choose some swingin' metre, sich as this,
That Omar used -- per Fitz -- to boost the wine.
An' 'ere's a point true artists shouldn't miss:
Sling in a bit o' slang to ev'ry line.

An' when yer full o' them alternate rhymes --
As all the true push poits is at times --
Jist ring the changes, as I'm doin' now;
An' find ixcuse to say: 'The bloomin' cow!'

Or, comin' back to Omar's style again,
It's easy fer to pen a sweet refrain
Wiv this 'ere kist a dead-'ead sort o' line,
An' this one rhymin' wiv the former twain.

An' though this style me soul 'as often vext,
Wiv care an' pains the knack is easy cort;
This line's rhymed wiv the first, an' then the next
Is cut orf short.
An' if yeh want to round it orf orl neat
Just add a couplet 'ere of equil feet.

An' 'ere's a style I've very often done:
You swing orf 'ere, an' find a second rhyme,
Then hitch the third line to the leadin' one.
An' make the fourth lap wiv the second chime,
An' then you sort o' come another time,
An' jist end up the same as you begin.

It's orl dead easy when yeh know the way,
An' 'ave the time to practise it -- But, say,
Although it sort o' takes the eye, no doubt
(An', mind yeh, I'm not sayin' but it may) --
Wivout a stock uv rhymes to see you out
This style o' rhymin's like to turn yeh grey.

The triplets comes much 'arder than the twins;
But I 'ave 'ad to bear 'em fer me sins.
'Ere, fer a single line, yeh change the style,
Switch orf an' rhyme the same as you begins;
An' then yeh comes back at it wiv a smile,
Pertendin' it's dead easy orl the while.

Them sawed-orf lines 'as often stood me friends;
Fer you kin cut 'em upto serve yer ends.
An' frequent I 'ave slung the dotin' throng
This sort o' song.
To ring su'prises on the eye an' ear
Is 'arf the game. It seems to kind o' queer
The dull monotony. yeh make a miss,
An' then do this.

Aw, 'Struth! it's pretty; but you take my tip,
It gives a bloke the everlastin' pip
'Oo tries to live upon the game and gets. . . .
Corns on 'is brain an' melancholy debts!

Wiv sweat an' tears, wiv misery an' sighs,
Yeh wring yer soul-case fer one drop of bliss
To give the cold, 'ard world; an' it replies,
'Prompt payment will erblige. Please settle this.'

The rarest treasures of yer 'eart yeh spend
On callous, thankless coots; an' in the end
It comes to this: if you can't find a muse
'Oo takes in washin', wot's the flamin' use?

So, they've struck their streak o' trouble, an' they got it in the neck,
An' there's more than one ole pal o' mine 'as 'anded in 'is check;
But Ginger still takes nourishment; 'e's well, but breathin' 'ard.
An' so 'e sends the strength uv it scrawled on a chunk uv card.

'On the day we 'it the transport there wus cheerin' on the pier,
An' the girls wus wavin' hankies as they dropped a partin' tear,
An' we felt like little 'eroes as we watched the crowd recede,
Fer we sailed to prove Australia, an' our boastin' uv the breed.

'There wus Trent, ex~toff, uv England; there wus Green, ex-pug, uv 'Loo;
There wus me, an' Craig uv Queensland, wiv 'is 'ulkin' six-foot-two:
An' little Smith uv Collin'wood, 'oo 'owled a rag-time air.
On the day we left the Leeuwin, bound nor'-west for Gawd-knows-where.

'On the day we come to Cairo wiv its niggers an' its din,
To fill our eyes wiv desert sand, our souls wiv Eastern sin,
There wus cursin' an' complainin'; we wus 'ungerin' fer fight -
Little imertation soljers full uv vanity an' skite.

'Then they worked us - Gawd! they worked us, till we knoo wot drillin' meant;
Till men begun to feel like men, an' wasters to repent,
Till we grew to 'ate all Egyp', an' its desert, an' its stinks:
On the days we drilled at Mena in the shadder uv the Sphinx.

'Then Green uv Sydney swore an oath they meant to 'old us tight,
A crowd uv flarnin' ornaments wivout a chance to fight;
But little Smith uv Collin'wood, he whistled 'im a toon,
An' sez, 'Aw, take a pull. lad, there'll be whips o' stoushin' soom.'

'Then the waitin', weary waitin', while we itched to meet the foe!
But we'd done wiv fancy skitin' an' the comic op'ra show.
We wus soljers - finished soljers, an' we felt it in our veins
On the day we trod the desert on ole Egyp's sandy plains.

'An' Trent 'e said it wus a bore, an' all uv us wus blue,
An' Craig, the giant, never joked the way 'e used to do.
But little Smith uv Collin'wood 'e 'ummed a little song,
An' said, 'You leave it to the 'eads. O now we sha'n't be long!'

'Then Sari Bair, O Sari Bair, 'twus you wot seen it done,
The day the transports rode yer bay beneath a smilin' sun.
We boasted much, an' toasted much; but where yer tide line creeps,
'Twus you, me dainty Sari Bair, that seen us play fer keeps.

'We wus full uv savage skitin' while they kep' us on the shelf -
(Now I tell yeh, square an' 'onest, I wus doubtin' us meself):
But we proved it, good an' plenty, that our lads can do an' dare,
On the day we walloped Abdul o'er the sands o' Sari Bair.

'Luck wus out wiv Green uv Sydney, where 'e stood at my right 'and,
Fer they plunked 'im on the transport 'fore 'e got a chance to land.
Then I saw 'em kill a feller wot I knoo in Camberwell,
Somethin' sort o' went inside me - an' the rest wus bloody 'ell.

'Thro' the smoke I seen 'im strivin', Craig uv Queensland, tall an' strong,
Like an 'arvester at 'ay-time singin', swingin' to the song.
An' little Smith uv Collin'wood, 'e 'owled a fightin' tune,
On the day we chased Mahomet over Sari's sandy dune.

'An' Sari Bair, O Sari Bair, you seen 'ow it wus done,
The transports dancin' in yer bay beneath the bonzer sun;
An' speckled o'er yer gleamin' shore the little 'uddled 'eaps
That showed at last the Southern breed could play the game fer keeps.

'We found 'im, Craig uv Queensland, stark, 'is 'and still on 'is gun.
We found too many more besides, when that fierce scrap wus done.
An' little Smith uv Collin'wood, he crooned a mournful air,
The night we planted 'em beneath the sands uv Sari Bair.

'On the day we took the transport there wus cheerin' on the pier,
An' we wus little chiner gawds; an' now we're sittin' 'ere,
Wiv the taste uv blood an' battle on the lips uv ev'ry man
An' ev'ry man jist 'opin' fer to end as we began.

'Fer Green is gone, an' Craig is gone, an' Gawd! 'ow many more!
Who sleep the sleep at Sari Bair beside that sunny shore!
An' little Smith uv Collin'wood, a bandage 'round 'is 'ead,
He 'ums a savage song an' vows quick vengeance fer the dead.

'But Sari Bair, me Sari Bair, the secrets that you 'old
Will shake the 'earts uv Southern men when all the tale is told;
An' when they git the strength uv it, there'll never be the need
To call too loud fer fightin' men among the Southern breed.'

Smith is a very stupid man;
He lives next door to me;
He has no settled scheme or plan
Of domesticity.
He does not own a gramophone,
Nor rush for morning trains;
His garden paths are overgrown,
He seldom entertains.

In all our staid suburban street
He strikes the one false note.
He goes about in slippered feet,
And seldom wears a coat.
He shows no taste in furniture,
He never goes to church;
His ways our district prim and pure
seem, somehow, to besmirch.

I don't know how he earns his bread;
'Tis said he paints or writes;
And frequently, I've heard it said,
He works quite late at nights.
His servant told the girl we've got
He makes a lot of pelf.
It seems a pity he will not
Strive to improve himself.

She's quite a pretty girl, his wife.
Our women-folk declare
It is a shame she spoiled her life
With such a perfect bear.
And yet she seems quite satisfied
With this peculiar man;
And says, with rather foolish pride,
He is Bohemian.

He has the crudest views about
I've often heard him laugh and shout
On Sundays after tea;
While our select suburban clan
Pass him the stony stare.
Smith is a very stupid man,
He doesn't seem to care.

He will not join our tennis club,
Nor come to may'ral balls,
Nor meet the neighbours in a rub
At bridge, nor pay them calls.
He just delights to scoff and sneer,
And feigns to be amused
At everything we hold most dear
What wonder he's abused?

Although he's ostracised a deal
He never makes a fuss;
I sometimes think he seems to feel
He ostracises us!
But that, of course, is quite absurd;
And, risking the disgrace,
I sometimes say a kindly word
When I pass by his place.

But still, although one likes to keep
One's self a bit select,
And not be, so to speak, too cheap,
I'm broad in that respect.
So oft, on sultry summer eves,
I waive all diffidence,
And chat across the wilted leaves
That garb our garden fence.

But, oh, his talk is so absurd!
His notions are so crude.
Such drivel I have seldom heard;
His mode of speech is rude.
He mentions 'stomach' in a bark
You'd hear across the street.
He lacks those 'little ways' that mark
A gentleman discreet.

And when I speak of great affairs
His mind becomes a blank.
He shows no interest in the cares
Of folk of noble rank.
And should we chat of politics
He sneers at parliament,
And says the modern party tricks
Were by the Devil sent.

It seems he has some foolish scheme
To right all social wrong;
Some silly plan, some idle dream
To raise the fallen throng.
It tell him if we change our plan
All enterprise must end
Smith is a very stupid man;
He does not comprehend.

Good books, as I have often said,
He mentions with disdain.
Marie Corelli he's not read
Garvice, nor yet Hall Caine.
He talks of writers most obscure:
Like Virgil, Carlyle, Kant,
Whose works no scholar could endure.
His reading must be scant.

In art he is a perfect dunce.
That's plainly evident.
I recollect I showed him once
A Christmas supplement.
He asked me if it was a joke,
Although the thing was grand!
I knew the moment that he spoke
Smith didn't understand!

He lacks all soul for music, too;
He hates the gramophone;
And when we play some dance-tune new
I've often heard him groan.
He says our music gives him sad,
Sad thoughts of slaughtered things.
I think Smith is a little mad;
Nice thoughts to me it brings.

Now, I have quite a kindly heart;
Good works I do not stint;
Last week I spoke to Smith apart,
And dropped a gentle hint.
He will be snubbed, I told him flat,
By neighbours round about,
Unless he wears a better hat
On Sundays, when he's out.

Last Sunday morn he passed my place
About the hour of four;
A smile serence was on his face,
And on his head he wore
The most dilapidated hat
That I have ever seen.
'This ought to keep 'em off the mat,'
He said. What did he mean?

I wish that Smith was not so dense.
He seems to have no vice;
He's educated - in a sense
And could become quite nice.
Still, there's a certain 'genteel' brand
That marks the cultured man.
Smith doesn't seem to understand;
He's such a stupid man!

Aw, go write yer tinklin' jingle, an' yer pretty phrases mingle,
Fer the mamby-pamby girl, all fluffy frill an' shinin' silk.
Them's the sort ter fetch yer trouble, when yer tries 'em, in the double.
Blow yer beauty! Wot's the matter with the maiden 'oo kin milk?
Them there rhymers uv the wattle! An' the bardlet uv the bottle -
'Im that sings uv sparklin' wine, an' does a perish fer the beer;
An' yer slap-dash 'orsey po-it! Garn! If you blokes only know it,
You 'ave missed the single subjec' fit ter rhyme about down 'ere.
An' although I ain't a bard, with bloomin' bays upon me brow,
I kinsider that it's up ter me ter sing about The Cow.
Cow, Cow
(Though it ain't a pretty row,
It's a word that 'ipnertises me; I couldn't tell yer 'ow.)
Though I ain't a gifted rhymer,
Nor a blamed Parnassus climber,
I'm inspired ter sing a tune er two about the Blessed Cow.

0h, the cow-bells are a-tinklin', and the daisies are a twinklin'
Well, that ain't the style ersackly I intended fer to sing.
'Ark, was over music greater then the buzzin' sepy-rater,
Coinin' gaily money daily fer the - no, that's not the thing!
'Omeward comes the cows a-lowin', an' the butter-cups are blowin';
But there's better butter in the - Blarst ! That ain't the proper way
See the pretty milkmaid walkin' - aw, it ain't no use er talkin'.
Listen 'ere, I want ter tell yer this: A cow's ther thing ter pay!
Sell yer 'orses, sell yer arrers, an' yer reapers, an' yer plough;
If yer want yer land ter pay yer, sacrifice yer life ter Cow
Cow, Cow
Sittin' underneath the bough,
With a bail, an' with a pail, an' with a little stool, an' thou
Kickin' when I pull yer teat there,
Swishin' flies, the pretty creatur.
Ah, there ain't no music sweeter - money squirtin' from the Cow.

Take away the wine-cup; take it. An' the foamin' flagon, break it.
Brimmin' cups uv butter-milk'll set yer glowin' thro' an' thro';
An' the reason I'm teetotal is becos me thrifty throat'll
Jest refuse ter swaller stuff that's costin' me a precious sou.
Once I wus a sinful spender. Used ter go a roarin' bender
Used ter often spend a thruppence when ther' wasn't any need.
An' the many ways I've busted money, when I should er trusted
It ter cattle an' erconomy, 'ud cause yer 'eart ter bleed
But I'm glad, me friends, that godliness 'as made me careful now;
Tho' I lorst the thing wot's next it when I cottoned ter the Cow.
Cow, Cow
Trudin' thro' the sloppy slough.
Ah, I once despised the Jews, but I kin under-stand 'em now
When they needed elevatin',
An' ole Moses kep' 'em waitin'
Fer religi'n, they went straight 'n' sorter substichooted Cow.

Listen to the lowin' cattle. Listen to the buckets rattle,
See, the sun is - ('Ere! You Bill! Yer goin' ter stay all day asleep?
'Ustle, or yer'll get a taste er - Wot? No cheek yer flamin' waster!
This is wot I get fer payin' 'arf a quid a week an' keep!
Talk about yer unions, will yer? Right, me covey, wait until yer
Come 'ere crawlin' - Where's that Sarah? Ain't she finished milkin' Spot?
Is this wot I brought yer up fer; reared, an' give yer bite an' sup fer?
'Struth! A man's own kids 'll next be talkin' Union, like as not
Garn, I ain't got time ter listen ter yer silly sniv'lin' now.
Understan' me, you was born an' bred ter think an' live fer Cow!)

Cow, Cow
I'm a capitalist now
Tho' I once wus poor an' lonely, an' a waster I'll allow.
Now I've 'an's that I kin 'ector:
I'm a Nupper 'Ouse elector;
An' the Sanitry Inspector is an interferin' cow!

Talk about yer modrun schoolin'! Edjucation's wasteful foolin'!
I got on without it; an' it only teaches youngsters cheek
(Where's young Tom? Wot? Ain't 'e back yet?
Sam, go - 'Ere You'll get the sack yet!
Wastin' time there, washin' buckets! Them wus washed larst Choosdee week!
Tell young Tom if 'e don't 'urry, I'll -. Now, mother, don't yer worry.
I'll deal Christian with 'im; but I'm not a Bible pa by 'alf.
That ole Scripchure cove's a driv'lin' idjut. When 'is son comes sniv'lin',
Why, the blazin', wasteful crim'nal goes an' kills a poddy calf!
I'm no dotin' daddy, but I know me jooty, you'll allow,
An' the children uv me loins is born to 'ave respect fer Cow.)

Cow, Cow
(Bow yer 'eads, yer blighters, bow!)
Come an' be initiated. Come an' take the milky vow,
Put yer wife an' fam'ly in it;
Work 'em ev'ry wakin' minit;
Fetch yer sordid soul an' pin it, signed an' sealed an' sold ter COW.

The Singing Soldiers

'When I'm sittin' in me dug-out wiv me rifle on me knees,
An' a yowlin', 'owlin' chorus comes a-floatin' up the breeze
Jist a bit o' 'Bonnie Mary' or 'Long Way to Tipperary'
Then I know I'm in Australia, took an' planted overseas.
They've bin up agin it solid since we crossed the flamin' foam;
But they're singin' - alwiz singin' - since we left the wharf at 'ome.

'O, it's 'On the Mississippi' or 'Me Grey 'Ome in the West.'
If it's death an' 'ell nex' minute they must git it orf their chest.
'Ere's a snatch o' 'When yer Roamin' - When yer Roamin' in the Gloamin'.'
'Struth! The first time that I 'eard it, wiv me 'ead on Rosie's breast,
We wus comin' frum a picnic in a Ferntree Gully train . . .
But the shrapnel made the music when I 'eard it sung again.'

So I gits it straight frum Ginger in 'is letter 'ome to me,
On a dirty scrap o' paper wiv the writin' 'ard to see.
'Strike!' sez 'e. 'It sounds like skitin'; but they're singin' while
they're fightin';
An' they socks it into Abdul to the toon o' 'Nancy Lee'.
An' I seen a bloke this mornin' wiv 'is arm blown to a rag,
'Ummin' 'Break the Noos to Mother', w'ile 'e sucked a soothin' fag.

'Now, the British Tommy curses, an' the French does fancy stunts,
An' the Turk 'e 'owls to Aller, an' the Gurkha grins an' grunts;
But our boys is singin', singin', while the blinded shells is flingin'
Mud an' death inter the trenches in them 'eavens called the Fronts.
An' I guess their souls keep singin' when they gits the tip to go . . .'
So I gits it, straight frum Ginger; an', Gawstruth! 'e ort to know.

An' 'is letter gits me thinkin' when I read sich tales as these,
An' I takes a look around me at the paddicks an' the trees;
When I 'ears the thrushes trillin', when I 'ear the magpies fillin'
All the air frum earth to 'eaven wiv their careless melerdies
It's the sunshine uv the country, caught an' turned to bonzer notes;
It's the sunbeams changed to music pourin' frum a thousand throats.

Can a soljer 'elp 'is singin' when 'e's born in sich a land?
Wiv the sunshine an' the music pourin' out on ev'ry 'and;
Where the very air is singin', an' each breeze that blows is bringin'
'Armony an' mirth an' music fit to beat the 'blazin' band.
On the march, an' in the trenches, when a swingin' chorus starts,
They are pourin' bottled sunshine of their 'Omeland frum their 'earts.

O I've 'eard it, Lord, I've 'eard it since the days when I wus young,
On the beach an' in the bar-room, in the bush I've 'eard it sung;
'Belle Mahone' an' 'Annie Laurie,' 'Sweet Marie' to 'Tobermory,'
Common toons and common voices, but I've 'eard 'em when they rung
Wiv full, 'appy 'earts be'ind 'em, careless as a thrush's song
Wiv me arm around me cliner, an' me notions fur frum wrong.

So they growed wiv 'earts a-singin' since the days uv careless kids;
Beefin' out an 'appy chorus jist when Mother Nacher bids;
Singin', wiv their notes a-quiver, 'Down upon the Swanee River,'
Them's sich times I'd not be sellin' fer a stack uv golden quids.
An' they're singin', still they're singin', to the sound uv guns an' drums,
As they sung one golden Springtime underneath the wavin' gums.

When they socked it to the Southland wiv our sunny boys aboard
Them that stopped a dam torpeder, an' a knock-out punch wus scored;
Tho' their 'ope o' life grew murky, wiv the ship 'ead over turkey,
Dread o' death an' fear o' drownin' wus jist trifles they ignored.
They spat out the blarsted ocean, an' they filled 'emselves wiv air,
An' they passed along the chorus of 'Australia will be There'.

Yes, they sung it in the water; an' a bloke aboard a ship
Sez 'e knoo they wus Australians be the way thev give it lip
Sung it to the soothin' motion of the dam devourin' ocean
Like a crowd o' seaside trippers in to 'ave a little dip.
When I 'card that tale, I tell yeh, straight, I sort o' felt a choke;
Fer I seemed to 'ear 'em singin', an' I know that sort o' bloke.

Yes, I know 'im; so I seen 'im, barrackin' Eternity.
An' the land that 'e wus born in is the land that mothered me.
Strike! I ain't no sniv'lin' blighter; but I own me eyes git brighter
When I see 'em pokin' mullock at the everlastin' sea:
When I 'ear 'em mockin' terror wiv a merry slab o' mirth,
'Ell! I'm proud I bin to gaol^ in sich a land as give 'em birth!

'When I'm sittin' in me dug-out wiv the bullets droppin' near,'
Writes ole Ginger; 'an' a chorus smacks me in the flamin' ear:
P'raps a song that Rickards billed, or p'raps a line o' Waltz Matilder',
Then I feel I'm in Australia, took an' shifted over 'ere.
Till the music sort o' gits me, an' I lets me top notes roam
While I treats the gentle foeman to a chunk uv 'Ome, Sweet 'Ome'.'

They wus singin' on the troopship, they wus singin' in the train;
When they left their land be'ind 'em they wus shoutin' a refrain,
An' I'll bet they 'ave a chorus, gay an' glad in greetin' for us,
When their bit uv scappin's over, an' they lob back 'ome again. . .
An' the blokes that ain't returnin' - blokes that's paid the biggest price,
They go singin', singin', singin' to the Gates uv Paradise.

She sung a song; an' I sat silent there,
Wiv bofe 'ands grippin' 'ard on me chair;
Me 'eart, that yesterdee I thort wus broke
Wiv 'umpin sich a 'eavy load o' care,
Come swelling in me throat like I would choke.
I felt 'ot blushes climbin' to me 'air.

'Twas like that feelin' when the Spring wind breaves
Sad music in the sof'ly rustlin' leaves.
An' when a bloke sits down an' starts to chew
Crook thorts, wivout quite knowin' why 'e grieves
Fer things 'e's done 'e didn't ort to do
Fair winded wiv the 'eavy sighs 'e 'eaves.

She sung a song; an' orl at once I seen
The kind o' crool an' 'eartless broot I been.
In ev'ry word I read it like a book
The slanter game I'd played wiv my Doreen
I 'eard it in 'er song; an' in 'er look
I seen wot made me feel fair rotten mean.

Poor, 'urt Doreen! My tender bit o' fluff!
Ar, men don't understand; they're fur too rough;
Their ways is fur too coarse wiv lovin' tarts;
They never gives 'em symperthy enough.
They treats 'em 'arsh; they tramples on their 'earts,
Becos their own crool 'earts is leather-tough.

She sung a song; an' orl them bitter things
That chewin' over lovers' quarrils brings
Guv place to thorts of sorrer an' remorse.
Like when some dilly punter goes an' slings
'Is larst, lone deener on some stiffened 'orse,
An' learns them vain regrets wot 'urts an' stings.

'Twas at a beano where I lobs along
To drown them memories o' fancied wrong.
I swears I never knoo that she'd be there.
But when I met 'er eye—O, 'struth, 'twas strong!
'Twas bitter strong, that jolt o' dull despair!
'Er look o' scorn!…An' then, she sung a song.

The choon was one o' them sad, mournful things
That ketch yeh in the bellers 'ere, and brings
Tears to yer eyes. The words was uv a tart
'Oo's trackin' wiv a silly coot 'oo slings
'Er love aside, an' breaks 'er tender 'eart….
But 'twasn't that; it was the way she sings.

To 'ear 'er voice!…A bloke 'ud be a log
'Oo kep' 'is block. Me mind wus in a fog
Of sorrer for to think 'ow I wus wrong;
Ar, I 'ave been a fair ungrateful 'og!
The feelin' that she put into that song
'Ud melt the 'eart-strings of a chiner dog.

I listens wiv me 'eart up in me throat;
I drunk in ev'ry word an' ev'ry note.
Tears trembles in 'er voice when she tells 'ow
That tart snuffed out becos 'e never wrote.
An' then I seen 'ow I wus like that cow.
Wiv suddin shame me guilty soul wus smote.

Doreen she never looked my way; but stood
'Arf turned away, an' beefed it out reel good,
Until she sang that bit about the grave;
'Too late 'e learned 'e 'ad misunderstood!'
An' then—Gorstrooth! The pleadin' look she gave
Fair in me face 'ud melt a'eart o' wood.

I dunno 'ow I seen that evenin' thro'.
They muster thort I was 'arf shick, I knoo.
But I 'ad 'urt Doreen wivout no call;
I seen me dooty, wot I 'ad to do.
O, strike! I could 'a' blubbed before 'em all!
But I sat tight, an' never cracked a boo.

An' when at larst the tarts they makes a rise,
A lop-eared coot wiv 'air down to 'is eyes
'E 'ooks on to Doreen, an' starts to roam
Fer 'ome an' muvver. I lines up an' cries,
''An's orf! I'm seein' this 'ere cliner 'ome!'
An' there we left 'im, gapin' wiv surprise.

She never spoke; she never said no word;
But walked beside me like she never 'eard.
I swallers 'ard, an' starts to coax an' plead,
I sez I'm dead ashamed o' wot's occurred.
She don't reply; she never takes no 'eed;
Jist stares before 'er like a startled bird.

I tells 'er, never can no uvver tart
Be 'arf wot she is, if we 'ave to part.
I tells 'er that me life will be a wreck.
It ain't no go. But when I makes a start
To walk away, 'er arms is roun' me neck.
'Ah, Kid!' she sobs. 'Yeh nearly broke me 'eart!'

I dunno wot I done or wot I said.
But 'struth! I'll not forgit it till I'm dead
That night when 'ope back in me brisket lobs:
'Ow my Doreen she lays 'er little 'ead
Down on me shoulder 'ere, an' sobs an' sobs;
An' orl the lights goes sorter blurred an' red.

Say, square an' all—It don't seem right, some'ow,
To say such things; but wot I'm feelin' now
'As come at times, I s'pose, to uvver men
When you 'ave 'ad a reel ole ding-dong row,
Say, ain't it bonzer makin' up agen?
Straight wire, it's almost worth…Ar, I'm a cow!

To think I'd ever seek to 'arm a 'air
Of 'er dear 'ead agen! My oath, I swear
No more I'll roust on 'er in angry 'eat!
But still, she never seemed to me so fair;
She never wus so tender or so sweet
As when she smooged beneath the lamplight there.

She's never been so lovin' wiv 'er gaze;
So gentle wiv 'er pretty wimmin's ways.
I tells 'er she's me queen, me angel, too.
'Ah, no, I ain't no angel, Kid,' she says.
'I'm jist a woman, an' I loves yeh true!
An' so I'll love yeh all me mortal days!'

She sung a song….'Ere, in me barmy style,
I sets orl tarts; for in me hour o' trile
Me soul was withered be a woman's frown,
An' broodin' care come roostin' on me dile.
She sung a song….Me 'eart, wiv woe carst down,
Wus raised to 'Eaven be a woman's smile.

Ow! Wow! Wow!
(Funeral note sustained by flutes, suggesting a long-bodied,
short-legged, large-headed dog in anguish.)
Ow! Wow!
We are the people who make the row;
We are the nation that skites and brags;
Marching the goose-step; waving the falgs.
We talk too much, and we lose our block,
We scheme and spy; we plot, we lie
To blow the whoe world into the sky.
The Kaiser spouts, and the Junkers rave.
Hoch! for the Superman, strong and brave!
But what is the use of a Superman,
With 'frightfulness' for his darling plan,
If he has no cities to burn and loot,
No women to ravish, no babies to shoot?
Shall treaties bind us against our wish?
Rip! Swish!
(Violins: Tearing noise as of scraps of paper being destroyed.)
Now at last shall the whole world learn
Of the cult of the Teuton, strong and stern!
Ho! for the Superman running amok!

Um - ta, um - ta, tiddley - um - tum!
(Uncertain note, as of a German band that has been told to move on.)
Pompety - pom pom - tiddeley - um - tum!
Way for the 'blond beasts!' Here they come!
While big guns thunder the nations' doom.
Room! Room!
Room for the German! A place in the sun!
He'll play the Devil now he's begun!
(Drums: Noise of an exploding cathedral.)
Ho, the gaping wound and the bleeding stump!
Watch the little ones how they jump!
While we shoot and stab, and plunder and grab,
Spurred by a Kaiser's arrogant gab;
While the Glorious Junker
Grows drunker,
And drunker, on blood.
Blood! Blood!
Sword or cannon or fire or flood,
Never shall stay our conquering feet -
On through city and village street -
Feet that savagely, madly tread,
Over the living; over the dead.
Shoot! Shoot!
Burn and pillage and slay and loot!
To the sound of our guns shall the whole world rock!

(Flutes, piccolos and trombones render, respectively, the cries of
children, shrieks of women and groans of tortured non-cambatants.
Violins wail mournfully.)
Shrieks! Shrieks!
Hoch der Kaiser! The whole land reeks
With tales of torture and savage rape,
Of fiends and satyrs in human shape;
Fat hands grabbing where white flesh shrinks;
And murdered age to the red earth sinks.
Kill! Kill!
Now at length shall we gorge our fill,
And all shall bow to the German will!
By the maids we ravish our lust to slake,
By the smoking ruin that mark our wake,
By the blood we spill,and the hearths we blast....
This is The Day! The Day at last!....
Praise to God! On our bended knees,
We render thaks for boons like these.
For God and the Kaiser our cohorts flock!
(Scrap of German hymn-tune interpolated here.)

Ach! Donnerwelter! Himmel! Ach!
(Medley of indescribable noises rendered by full orchestra, symbolic,
partly of a German band that is being severely kicked by an irate householder,
and partly innumerable blutwursts suddenly arrested in mid-career.)
Ach! Ach!
'Dot vos not fair to shoot in der back!'
Who is this that as dared to face
Our hosts unconquered, and, pace by pace,
Presses us backward, and ever back.
Over the blasted, desolate rack?
What of the plans we planned so well?
We looked for victory - this is Hell!
Hold! Hold!
Mark the heaps of our comrades bold;
Look on the corpses of Culture's sons -
Martyrs slain by a savage's guns.
Respite now, in this feast of death!
Time! An Armistice! Give us breath!
Nay? Then we cry to the whole wide world,
Shame on our foe for a plea denied!
Savages! Brutes! Barbarians all!
Here shall we fight with our backs to the wall!

Boom! Boom! Boom!
(Ten more thousands gone to their doom.)
(Bass drums only, for 679,358 bars, symbolising a prolonged artillery war.
Into this there breaks suddenly the frenzied howl of the long-bodied,
short-legged, large-deaded dog already mentioned.)
Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!
We spit on the British here at our gate!
Foe of humanity! Curst of the world!
On him alone let our hate be hurled!
For his smiling sneers at the Junkers' creed,
For his cold rebuke to a Kaiser's greed;
For his calm disdain of our noble race,
We fling our spite in his scornful face.
Under the sea and high in the air,
Death shall seek for him everywhere;
The lurking death in the submarine,
The swooping death in the air machine,
Alone of them all he had sealed our fate!
Hate! Hate! HATE!
(Prolonged discord, followed by deep, mysterious silence - imposed by censor -
for 793 bars.)

(Deep staccato note as of a bursting blutwurst.)
Ow! Wow! Wow!
(Dying howl of a stricken hound. Silence again for an indefinite number of
bars. Then, in countless bars, saloons, tea-shops, coffee-houses, cafes and
restaurants throughout the British Empire and most of Europe, a sudden, loud,
triumphant chorus, toned by a note of relief, and dominated by 'The Marseillaise'
and 'Tipperary.' A somewhat uncertain but distinctly nasal cheer is heard from
the direction of New York.)

Peace! Peace!
At last the sounds of the big guns cease;
At last the beast is chased to his lair,
And we breathe again of the good, clean air.
The gates have fallen! The Allies win!
And the boys are macrhing about Berlin!
The Kaiser's down; and the story goes
A British Tommy has pulled his nose.
The German eagle has got the pip:
Vive les Allies!...Hooroo!...Hip! Hip!...