The Criminal War

I am shocked beyond words!
(Said the statesman. 'Tis crime
That the clamoring herds
Should seek war at this time.
For a criminal war is sheer folly
Subversive to ideals sublime.

There are wars that are nice;
There are wars that are not.
And 'tis seeking with vice
That the nations should plot
World war when my land is unready.
I refuse to consider such rot.

My philosophy's clear;
My morality, too;
Tho' my rivals may sneer
At the things that I do.
If at present, for me, war's illegal It must be illegal for you!

We are human, I trust;
And to decency wed.
Let's have war, if we must;
But at present I dread
What crimes may come out of the carnage,
If blood be illegally shed.

In the past, all along
We have cleaved to our creed:
We shall fight when we're strong
When we're not we still plead
Our revulsion to acts homicidal
Induced by man's envy and greed.

Keep the sword in its sheath;
Seek sweet peace for a time,
Till, all armed to the teeth,
Our meek voices may climb
To sue for the blessings of Heaven
On butchery, purged of all crime.

Down, But Not Out

Oh, how I hate these chills, these winter ills,
Bleak blasts and breezes;
Abominate the 'flu,' the fierce 'Tishoo'
All inappropriate sneezes;
How I detest th' uneasy, wheezy chest.
Yet (tho' the declaration may seem priggish)
Fate I defy; and to Cold's cohorts cry,
Indomitable ever: 'Ick! ... Ip! ... Iggish!'

I dream of coral isles where sunlight smiles
And high noon blazes,
Where luscious tropic green, is vaguely seen
Thro' dancing hazes.
I long for these; and then some biting breeze
Pierces my being like an icy splinter;
Yet once more I, with shrill defiance, cry
And fling taunts in the teeth of woeful Winter.

I know this dread disease brings me unease
Most deleterious;
And well, indeed, I know I often grow
Slightly delirious.
But, all the same, nought may my spirit tame;
Fears I have never felt nor eke confessed any;
Tho' some have said I'm partly off my head
When I bark challenges at brooding Destiny.

Oft - Ip! (Excuse me) Snisch! ... Often I wish
For sword and buckler
To slake my seething hate. To sneering Fate
I am no truckler.
Tho' my poor head, pain-wreathed, sinks to the bed,
Ah, bleak battalions, I would smite and smash you!
For, don't forget, I am my own man yet
While my unconquerable soul shouts, 'Ack! ... Harrashoo!'

The pale young man he comes to me,
An' chats me good an' fair;
'The langwidge that you use,' ses he,
'Pollutes the good, clean air.
Why don't yeh chuck sich silly rot,
An' line-up with the Clean Lip lot?'

But, square 'n' all, I got no use
For them poor, shrinkin' guys,
Who, at the sound of coves' abuse,
Turn pale, an' rolls their eyes.
To use the fancy swears I hear
Comes natural as sinking beer.

Beef an' blood-gravy's fightin' food,
Not milk; but, all the same,
I come to see there ain't no good
In this crook-landwidge game.
An' so a little vow I made,
An' joined their swell Clean Lip Brigade.

'Twas 'ard! But sternly I pursoo'd
Me course; an' wore a frown
Thro' swallerin' me speech unchewed,
An' chokin' curse-words down.
Oh, dear! It was a dreadful stunt!
Then, gracious me, I hit the Front!

A feller in the firin' line,
Tied up with sich a gag,
Who has to curse by look an' sign,
He fair gets out the rag.
An' so, I ses, each time I shoots,
'I'll teach you, you - you - you - you broots!'

I don't care wot the goodies say,
It's cruel fightin' dumb!
To curse a bit, once in a way,
Relieves yer feelin's some.
I kills four men in fair, clean fight,
An' seven extra out er spite.

An' then there come the bay'nit charge.
The blokes to left an' right
They all was cursin' fine and large,
But I keep mum, an' fight.
I plunks a square-'ead in the wind
'Annoying fellow; there!' I grinned.

With that a great, big 'ulking chap,
Comes at me with a sword
(The thing I need in that scrap
Was just one little word).
'Haw! You - you person,' I begun;
But while I talks, he gets in one.

Far in the chest I gets that swipe,
An' crumbles in a heap.
An' starts to think the time is ripe
To 'ave a long, deep sleep.
'You are intensely rude,' I said
An' so they leaves there for dead.

They invaleeds me 'ome, although
The wound gives me no cares.
The cause of my complaint, know,
Was bottlin' up me swears
Congestion of me 'Damn' denied:
It made me feel all swelled inside.

The pale young man he comes to me.
'Ah, friend,' he says, 'how now?
Your lips are clean, I'm pleased to see,
An' you 'ave kep' your vow!'
'Me lips is bonzer,' I replied.
'But, 'struth, me throat is scarified!'

The Little Homes

We have heard the cheering, brothers,
We have heard the martial peal;
We have seen the soldiers marching
And the glint of sun and steel.
We have heard the songs, the shouting;
But, while forth the soldier roams,
Who has heard the weeping, brothers,
In the Little Homes?

We have seen the gay processions
And the careless, laughing crowds.;
We have seen the banners waving
Out against the peaceful clouds;
Yet, while colors proudly flutter
Over noble spires and domes,
Who has seen the mourning, brothers,
In the Little Homes?

From the Little Homes that nestle
Where the smiling fields sweep wide,
From the Little Homes that huddle
In the city, side by side,
They have called the eager fighters
Men who went with smiles and cheers;
Pride of wives and pride of mothers,
Choking back the tears!

Women of the little homesteads,
Women of the city slums,
They are waiting, ever waiting;
And the sound of muffled drums
In some stricken Home is echoed,
Where grey Grief is guest to-day.
And to-morrow? Nay, the others
Still must wait - and pray.

What the Little Homes shall suffer,
What the Little Homes shall pay
Must be more than sturdy fighters,
More than women's grief to-day.
In the years that follow after,
Be our battles won or lost,
In the Little Homes, my brothers,
They shall pay the cost.

They shall pay the cost of glory,
They shall pay the price of peace,
Years and many long years after
All the sounds of battle cease.
When the sword is sheathed - or broken
When the battle flag is furled,
Still the Little Homes must suffer
Over all the World.

Have you seen the old grey mothers
Smiling to the ringing cheers?
Have you seen the young wives striving
Bravely to hold back the tears?
Have you seen the young girl marching
By her soldier-lover's side?
Have you, seen our country's women
All aglow with pride?

Then, shall we think shame, my brothers,
To give thanks upon our knees
That the land we love should hold them
Wives and mothers such as these?
Women who still hide their sorrow
As their soldiers march away,
Turning brave and steadfast faces
To the light of day?

Oh, the Little Homes are Cheerful
Little Homes that know no pride
But the pride of sacrificing
Loved ones to the battle tide!
They are many, many brothers,
And their sacrifice is great.
Shrines are they and sacred places,
Where the women wait.

Aye, the Little Homes are holy
At the closing of the day,
When young wives must face their sorrow,
When grey mothers kneel to pray,
Facing, all alone, dread visions
Of the land the soldier roams,
Then God heed the sobbing, brothers,
In the Little Homes.

Gyved and chained in his father's home,
He toiled 'neath a conqueror's rule;
Bowed to the earth in the land of his birth;
The Slave who was Son of a Fool.

Poor remnant he of a conquered race,
Long shorn of its power and pride,
No reverence shone in his sullen face
When they told how that race had died.
But the meed that he gave to his father's name
Was a down-drooped head and a flush of shame.

Burned in his brain was the pitiful tale
Of a sabre too late unsheathed;
Deep in his heart lay the poisoned dart
Of the shame that his sire bequeathed:
The searing shame of a laggard life,
Of an arm too weak in the hour of strife.

Oh, the Fool had reigned full many a year
In the Land of the Bounteous Gifts,
Dreaming and drifting, with never a fear,
As a doomed fool pleasantly drifts;
And he ate his fill of the gifts she gave
The Fool who was sire of a hopeless Slave.

Through years of plenty and years of peace
he lolled in the pleasing shade,
Marking his flocks and his herds increase,
Watching his waxing trade;
And he smiled when he heard of the old world's wars,
With never a care for his own rich stores.

Year by year as his harvest grew,
He gleaned with a lightsome heart;
His barns he filled, and he sowed and tilled,
Trading in port and mart.
Proud of his prowess in psort and trade
Was the Fool, who scoffed at an alien raid.

Little he recked of the gathering cloud
That boded a swift disgrace.
Was he not seed of a manly breed,
Proud son of a warlike race?
And he told of the deeds that his sires had done
While he wielded a bat in the place of a gun.

Small were his fears in the rich fat years,
Loud was his laugh of scorn
When they whispered low of a watching foe,
Greedy for gold and corn;
A foe grown jealous of trade an pow'r,
Marking the teasure, and waiting the hour.

'Twas a cheerful Fool, but a Fool foredoomed
Gazed out on a clear spring morn;
And his eye ranged wide o'er the countryside,
With its treasures, its kine and corn.
And, 'Mine, all mine!' said the prosperous Fool.
'And it never shall pass to an alien rule!'

And, e'en when the smoke of the raiders' ships
Trailed out o'er the northern skies,
His laugh was loud: ''Tis a summer cloud,'
Said the Fool in his Paradise.
And, to guard his honor, he gave a gun
To the feeble hands of his younger son.

Oh, a startled Fool, and a Fool in haste
Awoke on a later day,
When they sped the word that a foe laid waste
His ports by the smiling bay,
And his voice was shrill as he bade his sons
Haste out to the sound of the booming guns.

He was brave, they tell, as a fool is brave,
With an oath 'tween his hard-clenched teeth,
When he found the sword that he fain would wave
Held fast in its rusty sheath;
When he learned that the hand, so skilled in play,
Was the hand of a child that fatal day.

And scarce had he raised his rallying cry,
Scarce had he called one note,
When he died, as ever a foo must die,
With his war-song still in his throat.
And an open ditch was the hasty grave
Of the Fool who fathered a hopeless Slave.

They point the moral, they tell the tale,
And the old world wags its head:
'If a Fool hath treasure, and Might prevail,
Then the Fool must die,' 'tis said.
And the end of it all is a broken gun
And the heritage gleaned by a hapless son.

Gyved and chained in his father's home,
He toiled 'neath a conqueror's rule;
While they flung in his face the taunt of his race:
A Slave and the Son of a Fool.

The Leader That Was Pushed

Once on a time a general whose name is handed down
To the present generation as a name of high renown
Once on a time this general - I trust you understand
This happened years and years ago, and in a foreign land.
This general once stood before his army, thinking hard;
And he talked about advancing, but he didn't move a yard,
For, to put the matter plainly, though he knew his cause was right,
And desired to be the leader, yet he didn't want to fight.

He bravely talked for hours and hours of tactics and defence
(In good sooth, he was a leader of undoubted eloquence)
Till his soldiers grew impatient, for they spied afar the foe,
So they started marching forward, and the leader had to go,
Though he begged for time to elocute, they forced him to a walk;
Then they broke into a double, and he hadn't breath to talk.
If his soldiers start to push him - well, that can a leader do?
Thus he led his army forward - of necessity, 'tis true.

Oh, they forced him to a run,
And the firing of a gun
Gave him qualms about the business, but he couldn't change his mind.
He'd have dearly loved to pause
And orate about The Cause,
But he had to keep responding to the pressure from behind.
Then he yelled a battle-cry,
And he waved his sword on high,
But he mournfully reflected as he viewed the foemen's horde:
Leadership may be all right
While the foe is out of sight,
But, like the pen, the silver tongue is safer than the sword.

The fight was won. That general, his heart swelled up with pride,
Delivered speeches eloquent to his victorious side;
And the peroration hinted they should rest while they'd the chance;
But the army wanted more of it and urged him to advance.
'Twas here the general resigned to join another band
That didn't yearn to go and fight the battles of the land.
'Twas a calm, reposeful army, and that leader suited well;
For it let him talk of fighting while it sat and took a spell.

He was leader of the tired,
And he never was required
To go ranging o'er the country to attack a savage foe;
And whene'er he thought it best
To sit down and take a rest,
Well - it's rude to push a leader when he doesn't want to go.
And, if by some mischance,
He should mention an advance,
They would let him talk about it and applaud him very hard;
They would hail him as the man
Who by right was in the van;
But they'd grab him by the coat-tails if he sought to move a yard.

Give attention now, my masters, to this general's career;
He was affable and eloquent, but let me mention here
This happened very long since - twenty thousand years or so;
For now, we know, a leader leads before he's forced to go.
But if, perchance, at any time, a leader you should find
Who objects to moving onward till he gets a push behind,
Far better shift him from the front; his place is never here;
And let him join the other crowd - the Army of the Rear.

Let us have a moving army, let its leader be a man
Who doesn't need a shove behind to keep him in the van;
And if he halts to elocute, let's shift him off the track,
And put him 'mid the baggage-carts and lumber at the back.
There to seek a reputation with the busted and the bushed:
For no man may seek for Honor who insists on being pushed.
And he who seeks to lead must keep ahead a yard or so,
For - it's rude to push a leader when he doesn't want to go.

For a leader of the kind
Who requires a kick behind
Isn't any sort of leader, when you come to think of it;
And the generals we need
Are the fellows who CAN lead
The men who know the track to go, and tackle it with grit.
Wherefore, when you hear the talk
Of these fellows who would baulk,
While they flood the land with eloquence till mentally you're bushed.
Just remember, words and air
Seldom lead to anywhere,
And reflect upon the story of the leader that was pushed

A Letter To The Front

I 'ave written Mick a letter in reply to one uv 'is,
Where 'e arsts 'ow things is goin' where the gums an' wattles is -
So I tries to buck 'im up a bit; to go fer Abdul's fez;
An' I ain't no nob at litrachure; but this is wot I sez:

I suppose you fellers dream, Mick, in between the scraps out them
Uv the land yeh left be'ind yeh when yeh sailed to do yer share:
Uv Collins Street, or Rundle Street, or Pitt, or George, or Hay,
Uv the land beyond the Murray or along the Castlereagh.
An' I guess yeh dream of old days an' the things yeh used to do,
An' yeh wonder 'ow 'twill strike yeh when yeh've seen this business thro';
An' yeh try to count yer chances when yeh've finished wiv the Turk
An' swap the gaudy war game fer a spell o' plain, drab work.

Well, Mick, yeh know jist 'ow it is these early days o' Spring,
When the gildin' o' the wattle chucks a glow on everything.
Them olden days, the golden days that you remember well,
In spite o' war an' worry, Mick, are wiv us fer a spell.
Fer the green is on the paddicks, an' the sap is in the trees,
An' the bush birds in the gullies sing the ole, sweet melerdies;
An' we're 'opin', as we 'ear 'em, that, when next the Springtime comes,
You'll be wiv us 'ere to listen to that bird tork in the gums.

It's much the same ole Springtime, Mick, yeh reckerlect uv yore;
Boronier an' dafferdils and wattle blooms once more
Sling sweetness over city streets, an' seem to put to shame
The rotten greed an' butchery that got you on this game -
The same ole sweet September days, an' much the same ole place;
Yet, there's a sort o' somethin', Mick, upon each passin' face,
A sort o' look that's got me beat; a look that you put there,
The day yeh lobbed upon the beach an' charged at Sari Bair.

It isn't that we're boastin', lad; we've done wiv most o' that -
The froth, the cheers, the flappin' flags, the giddy wavin' 'at.
Sich things is childish memories; we blush to 'ave 'em told,
Fer we 'ave seen our wounded, Mick, an' it 'as made us old.
We ain't growed soggy wiv regret, we ain't swelled out wiv pride;
But we 'ave seen it's up to us to lay our toys aside.
An' it wus you that taught us, Mick, we've growed too old fer play,
An' everlastin' picter shows, an' going' down the Bay.

An', as grown man dreams at times uv boy'ood days gone by,
So, when we're feelin' crook, I s'pose, we'll sometimes sit an' sigh.
But as a clean lad takes the ring wiv mind an' 'eart serene,
So I am 'opin' we will fight to make our man'ood clean.
When orl the stoushin's over, Mick, there's 'eaps o' work to do:
An' in the peaceful scraps to come we'll still be needin' you.
We will be needin' you the more fer wot yeh've seen an' done;
Fer you were born a Builder, lad, an' we 'ave jist begun.

There's bin a lot o' tork, ole mate, uv wot we owe to you,
An' wot yeh've braved an' done fer us, an' wot we mean to do.
We've 'ailed you boys as 'eroes, Mick, an' torked uv just reward
When you 'ave done the job yer at an' slung aside the sword.
I guess it makes yeh think a bit, an' weigh this gaudy praise;
Fer even 'eroes 'ave to eat, an' - there is other days:
The days to come when we don't need no bonzer boys to fight:
When the flamin' picnic's over an' the Leeuwin looms in sight.

Then there's another fight to fight, an' you will find it tough
To sling the Kharki clobber fer the plain civilian stuff.
When orl the cheerin' dies away, an' 'ero-worship flops,
Yeh'll 'ave to face the ole tame life - 'ard yakker or 'ard cops.
But, lad, yer land is wantin' yeh, an' wantin' each strong son
To fight the fight that never knows the firin' uv a gun:
The steady fight, when orl you boys will show wot you are worth,
An' punch a cow on Yarra Flats or drive a quill in Perth.

The gilt is on the wattle, Mick, young leaves is on the trees,
An' the bush birds in the gullies swap the ole sweet melerdies;
There's a good, green land awaitin' you when you come 'ome again
To swing a pick at Ballarat or ride Yarrowie Plain.
The streets is gay wiv dafferdils - but, haggard in the sun,
A wounded soljer passes; an' we know ole days is done;
Fer somew'ere down inside us, lad, is somethin' you put there
The day yeh swung a dirty left, fer us, at Sari Bair.

The veil was rent, and mundane Time merged in Eternity;
And I beheld the End of Things. I heard the Last Decree
Pronounced on all the World that Is, and Was, and Is to Be.

Rank upon rank before the Throne the Nations were arrayed,
And every man since Time began by his own act was weighed;
Till, to the Right, the diffident Elected stood dismayed.

For here the lowly Lazarus, and all his kind and ken
Repentant knave and serf and slave and humble beggar-men
In wonder looked from Damned to Throne, then on the Damned again.

Gaunt, towsled creatures of the streets still trembled, half in fear;
Weak women who had 'sinned' for love, and common folk were here,
Facing the Lost, yet doubting still that the Decree was clear.

For on the Left amid the Damned, a thousand million strong,
There stood a band of 'righteous' folk - a very 'genteel' throng;
All much surprised and scandalised, and scenting 'something wrong.'

Here reigned Respectability 'mid virgins sour and chaste;
Prim, haughty dames, whose worldly aims had been in perfect taste,
Shorn of their pride, stood side by side with sweaters leaden-faced.

Strict folk, who ne'er had sinned without due reck'ning of the cost,
Sniffed disapproval and declared the function was a frost,
And vowed the angel-ushers erred in marking them as Lost.

Strange men there were of ev'ry age since Man did first increase,
From Adam on to Babylon, from Persia to Greece,
From Greece and Rome, to England, on till Time was bidden cease.

Courtiers were there, and prince and peer - ay, even brewere-knights -
Preachers and parsons, Pharisees, Gentiles and Israelites,
Pharaohs and Caesars, Emperors and smug suburbanites.

Yea, every canting hypocrite since early Eocene,
In skin and silk and suit of mail and broadcloth stood serene,
Full sure his plight would be set right when the 'mistake' was seen.

And, as they gazed, shocked and amazed, upon the chosen side
On folk ill-clad in rags that had half-clothed them when they died
Lord God, they're not respectable! Nay, have a care!' they cried.

Then stepped there forth, consumed with wrath, an unctuous alderman;
And, standing out before the Throne, he pompously began
(In life he built a church, and many 'charities' he ran)

'Most High, the Heavenly Court, and Friends I do not wish to blame
Where blame is not deserved; but I protest it is a shame
That such a state of things exists; and I regret I came.

'I - I, a pillar of the Church, a famed philanthropist,
Who, on a Sabbath went to chapel thrice, and never missed;
I, rich, respectable, am down on the 'Rejected' list.

'It is absurd, upon my word, when even Royalty
Is bid make way for yon array of rags and misery!
Ay, even vice, to my surprise, in their soiled ranks I see!

''Tis past a jest; and I protest it is an insult when
That common, motley crew of low, ill-bred, unlettered men
Is set on high, while such as I are herded in this pen!

And, as he closed, the huddled rows of Damned caught up the cry ;
From many million 'genteel' throats a shout went to the sky:
'Lord God, they're not respectable! Beware, beware, Most High!'

Close on their shout The Voice rang out, and took them like a flood;
Till king and khan and alderman and prince of royal blood,
And chief and lord and preacher cowered and trembled where they stood.

'Ye knew my life, ye knew my Law, ye mocked with hollow praise;
Ye knelt to me in blasphemy once in the Seven Days;
Then raised an idol in my place and went your idol's ways.

'To this ye turned; for this ye spurned the Man of Galilee;
And in your hearts ye sacrificed to other gods than me;
Nor ceased to crawl to it ye call 'Respectability.'

'And when its Law was not my Law, say, whither did ye lean?
Did ye heed my Word or seek to aid my humble folk and mean?
Ye prayed unto a myth and scorned the lowly Nazarene.

'E'en as ye judged my People here, so are ye judged and weighed;
But the humble mates of Christ the Carpenter today are paid.
My folk they be; I know not ye. Go, call your god to aid.'

And lo, adown the shining stairs, each with a flaming sword,
Avenging hosts of angels came - yet howled the stricken horde,
'Lord God, they're not respectable! Be warned in time, O Lord!'

Then yawned agape and greedily a horrid, fiery cleft,
And prince and king and alderman, of pomp and pride bereft,
Went, pressed like herded cattle, till no trace of gloom was left.

Yet, as they fell, the gates of Hell gave back a cry that came
Now far and faint, a doleful plaint - all muffled through the flame,
'Lord God, they're not respectable! O, King of Kings, for shame!'

Wot's in a name? -- she sez . . . An' then she sighs,
An' clasps 'er little 'ands, an' rolls 'er eyes.
'A rose,' she sez, 'be any other name
Would smell the same.
Oh, w'erefore art you Romeo, young sir?
Chuck yer ole pot, an' change yer moniker!'

Doreen an' me, we bin to see a show --
The swell two-dollar touch. Bong tong, yeh know.
A chair apiece wiv velvit on the seat;
A slap-up treat.
The drarmer's writ be Shakespeare, years ago,
About a barmy goat called Romeo.

'Lady, be yonder moon I swear!' sez 'e.
An' then 'e climbs up on the balkiney;
An' there they smooge a treat, wiv pretty words
Like two love-birds.
I nudge Doreen. She whispers, 'Ain't it grand!'
'Er eyes is shining an' I squeeze 'er 'and.

'Wot's in a name?' she sez. 'Struth, I dunno.
Billo is just as good as Romeo.
She may be Juli-er or Juli-et --
'E loves 'er yet.
If she's the tart 'e wants, then she's 'is queen,
Names never count ... But ar, I like 'Doreen!'

A sweeter, dearer sound I never 'eard;
Ther's music 'angs around that little word,
Doreen! ... But wot was this I starts to say
About the play?
I'm off me beat. But when a bloke's in love
'Is thorts turns 'er way, like a 'omin' dove.

This Romeo 'e's lurkin' wiv a crew --
A dead tough crowd o' crooks -- called Montague.
'Is cliner's push -- wot's nicknamed Capulet --
They 'as 'em set.
Fair narks they are, jist like them back-street clicks,
Ixcep' they fights wiv skewers 'stid o' bricks.

Wot's in a name? Wot's in a string o' words?
They scraps in ole Verona wiv the'r swords,
An' never give a bloke a stray dog's chance,
An' that's Romance.
But when they deals it out wiv bricks an' boots
In Little Lon., they're low, degraded broots.

Wot's jist plain stoush wiv us, right 'ere to-day,
Is 'valler' if yer fur enough away.
Some time, some writer bloke will do the trick
Wiv Ginger Mick,
Of Spadger's Lane.
'E'll be a Romeo,
When 'e's bin dead five 'undred years or so.

Fair Juli-et, she gives 'er boy the tip.
Sez she: 'Don't sling that crowd o' mine no lip;
An' if you run agin a Capulet,
Jist do a get.'
'E swears 'e's done wiv lash; 'e'll chuck it clean.
(Same as I done when I first met Doreen.)

They smooge some more at that. Ar, strike me blue!
It gimme Joes to sit an' watch them two! '
E'd break away an' start to say good-bye,
An' then she'd sigh
'Ow, Ro-me-o!' an' git a strangle-holt,
An' 'ang around 'im like she feared 'e'd bolt.

Nex' day 'e words a gorspil cove about
A secret weddin'; an' they plan it out.
'E spouts a piece about 'ow 'e's bewitched:
Then they git 'itched ...
Now, 'ere's the place where I fair git the pip!
She's 'is for keeps, an' yet 'e lets 'er slip!

Ar! but 'e makes me sick! A fair gazob!
E's jist the glarsey on the soulful sob,
'E'll sigh and spruik, a' 'owl a love-sick vow --
(The silly cow!)
But when 'e's got 'er, spliced an' on the straight
'E crools the pitch, an' tries to kid it's Fate.

Aw! Fate me foot! Instid of slopin' soon
As 'e was wed, off on 'is 'oneymoon,
'Im an' 'is cobber, called Mick Curio,
They 'ave to go
An' mix it wiv that push o' Capulets.
They look fer trouble; an' it's wot they gets.

A tug named Tyball (cousin to the skirt)
Sprags 'em an' makes a start to sling off dirt.
Nex' minnit there's a reel ole ding-dong go -—
'Arf round or so.
Mick Curio, 'e gets it in the neck,
'Ar rats!' 'e sez, an' passes in 'is check.

Quite natchril, Romeo gits wet as 'ell.
'It's me or you!' 'e 'owls, an' wiv a yell,
Plunks Tyball through the gizzard wiv 'is sword,
'Ow I ongcored!
'Put in the boot!' I sez. 'Put in the boot!'
''Ush!' sez Doreen ... 'Shame!' sez some silly coot.

Then Romeo, 'e dunno wot to do.
The cops gits busy, like they allwiz do,
An' nose around until 'e gits blue funk
An' does a bunk.
They wants 'is tart to wed some other guy.
'Ah, strike!' she sez. 'I wish that I could die!'

Now, this 'ere gorspil bloke's a fair shrewd 'ead.
Sez 'e 'I'll dope yeh, so they'll think yer dead.'
(I tips 'e was a cunnin' sort, wot knoo
A thing or two.)
She takes 'is knock-out drops, up in 'er room:
They think she's snuffed, an' plant 'er in 'er tomb.

Then things gits mixed a treat an' starts to whirl.
'Ere's Romeo comes back an' finds 'is girl
Tucked in 'er little coffing, cold an' stiff,
An' in a jiff,
'E swallows lysol, throws a fancy fit,
'Ead over turkey, an' 'is soul 'as flit.

Then Juli-et wakes up an' sees 'im there,
Turns on the water-works an' tears 'er 'air,
'Dear love,' she sez, 'I cannot live alone!'
An' wiv a moan,
She grabs 'is pockit knife, an' ends 'er cares ...
'Peanuts or lollies!' sez a boy upstairs.

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!...

Guardian Angels

Brothers; even those of you who are already in the sear and yellow leaf, and full of years and iniquity,
Sometimes, I doubt not, let your thoughts go back to those days of antiquity
When mother tucked you into your little bed.
After your little prayers were said;
And, having said goodnight,
She most inconsiderately took away the light.
Then came, my brothers, that dread half-hour in the day of a child;
When your mind was filled with weird imaginings and fancies wild
Of Bogey-men and Hobgoblins, Ogres and Demons; so that, for a space, you lay
Filled with a child's vague fear of the dark, and longing for the day.
Then, to comfort you, there came the thought
That guardian angels, as you had been taught,
Hovered ever near
To watch over timid little boys and girls and still their fear.
Is not that what other said?
And, in your childish mind you pictured a feathered friend roosting benevolently
at the foot of your bed.
Then were you filled with solace deep;
You sighed contentedly and went to sleep.

I would speak to you of another kind of mother;
Of our political mamma or historical mater:
Mrs. Britannia, to wit, who lives on the other side of the equator.
You have doubtless seen her pictured upon certain coins of the realm,
Sitting on the sharp edge of a shield, holding a picthfork, and wearing an absurd
and elaborate helm.
That is the lady; our dear old mum;
Mother of a large and parti-colored family that has given her much trouble and
promises more in the years to come.
Hitherto she has tucked us into bed.
And, for a trifling cash consideration, to allay our dread,
Has, so to speak, left us the light
In the shape of a few more or less efficient warships that might or might not be
of use in a fight;
But that was neither here nor there
So long as they served their purpose, and, like a candle of childhood's days,
dissipated the shadows and the attendant thoughts that scare.
But, behold, my brother, we are no longer an infant nation.
We have doffed our swaddling clothes, and have gone into pants, and top-hats,
and motor-coats, and split-skirts, and other habilments of adult
We are no longer young enough to pet and fondle, to nurse and bounce and dandle;
And, behold, mother has taken away the candle!
This is well enough;

And nobody would be complaining if the dear old lady didn't try to fill us up with
the stuff
That was designed alone for infant ears,
And to allay imaginery fears.
She forgets, the poor old worried mum, that we have, so to speak, arrived now
at years of discretion,
And (if you pardon the expression)
Endeavors to pull her trusting offsping's leg with the old, old tale
Of the beautiful and ever watchful guardian angel that will never fail
To banish the naughty, nasty bogeys, the wicked ogres that lurk
Around our little bed.... Brother, that guardian angel gag won't work!
We happen to know a little about this saffron-colored seraph, this Mongolian
cherub to whose tender care our doting parent would leave us;
And, unless our eyes deceive us,
He bears a most remarkable reseblance to the ogre that we fear!
We have not the least doubt that he will most obligingly hover near
Our little cot.
But we are very, very anxious concerning certain little childish possessions
we have got.
We have out own private opinions about the sort of watch he will keep;
And we have wisely, if rebelliously, decided that WE WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP!!

Speaking of guardian angels and other birds,
I should just like to say a few words
In conclusion
In reference to this guardian angel illusion.
It will be remebered that mother herself, when she was young, and not so
handy with the flatiron of war as she is to-day,
Had a little experience of her own in that way.
It was a Saxon guardian angel, with fierce whiskers and a spear,
That poor mother put her maiden trust in: and it would appear
That he treated her in a very shameful and ungentlemanly style;
For, after he had expelled the Scot burglar or the Pict fowl-thief or whoever it was,
he remarked, with a sinister smile:
'Well, not that I am here,
My dear,
I think I'll stay for a while.'
And that's how mother got married....he did marry her in the end, or so I
And made an honest woman of her, and in time they built up a very respectable home
in the land.
But, after all, despite his morals, he was a white man, and a decent sort of fellow.
And things miht have been very different if his color had happened to be yellow.
Since then, if any reliance can be placed on the histories that adorn my shelf,
Mother has gone in rather largely for the guardian business herself.

And this she has done, I must confess,
With considerable success.
She has played the benign guardian angel, at one time and another, to quite a
number of simple and unsophisticated folk,
Who, when her guardianship has become too insistent, have not always appeared to
appreciate the joke.
But, my brother, this is what I should vey much like to know:
Since the old girl knows so much about this thing through personal experience,
why does she want to go
And put up that rusty old bluff on her innocent and confiding little son?
In the circumstances there is only one thing for him to do, and the lesson cannot be
learned too soon: The only reliable guardian angel for children of his age
I don't know what you think about it, brother;
But, speaking privately and strictly between ourselves, I think it's pretty crook
on the part of mother.

Thus it happened .... Let me mention, lest I raise an unsought quarrel,
This occurred in times long vanished, in the land of Git-yer-gun.
'Tis a quaint, unlikely story; some folk say it has a moral;
But that's a little matter you may settle when I'm done.

Mr. Foodle led a party that was strongly democratic,
And it represented people with the Christian name of Bill.
And in all his hustings speeches Mr. Foodle was emphatic
That his crowd existed solely to uphold the people's will.

Mr. Boodle led a party that was Liberal - or Tory
(Just according to your view-point) - and it represented those
Christened (by immersion) Percy, whose hot socks proclaimed their glory;
And its policy was such as you may readily supose.

So they strove in an election .... (Now, I wish it noted plainly
That this happened years ago, and in the land of Git-yer-gun) ....
And each side employed its talent to upbraid the other mainly,
While the voters cheered them madly, and the crowd enjoyed the fun.

The Democratic Party (Bill by name) supported Foodle
For such was the convention with this quaint old Party Plan
While the Tories fought like fury to promote the cause of Boodle,
And, of course, the crowd named Percy voted for him to a man.

And the others of the nation - all the Johns and Jeremiahs,
All the Peters, Pauls and Paddys, all the Colins and Carews,
All the Richards and the Roberts, and the Hanks and Hezekiahs
Voted for some bloque or other, each according to his views.

Then they counted up the numbers, when at last the fight was over,
And both Democrats and Tories - Bills and Percys - looked quite sour
When the numbers showed them clearly neither party stood in clover;
For a few odd Independents held the balance of the power.

Mr. Foodle called his Caucus .... And he put it to them plainly:
'Never mind the Bills,' said Foodle; 'we have got them in the box.
If we would escape extinction 'tis our plan to pander mainly
But with caution - to the Percys and the cause of fancy socks.

'For,' said Mr. Foodle gravely, 'understand me, votes are needed!
How to catch and how to keep them is the question of the hour.
Never mind your Public Questions; let the Big Things go unheeded;
We must compromise a little if we mean to hold the power.'

Mr. Boodle called his Caucus ... And he put it to them clearly'
'Gentlemen, ignore the Percys! We have got them in the bag!
But the Bills, we must remember, have the votes we covet dearly;
And till we contrive to get them we must let the Big Things lag.'

So began the op'ning session, with both sides electioneering;
Boodle grew more democratic; Foodle watered down his views;
Bit by bit they drew together, more and more alike appearing,
Till the voters, looking at them, vowed there wasn't much to choose.

Sometimes Foodle reigned in office, sometimes it was Mr. Boodle.
'Twas the Grand Old Party System, for the shibboleth held still.
And they vowed that ev'ry voter - (as was plain to any noodle)
Must most palpably be Percy if he wasn't christened Bill.

Meantime all the Dicks and Davids, all the Johns and Jeremiahs,
All the Mats and Pats and Peters, surnamed Smith or Brown or Burke,
Shouted with the Ned and Normans and the Hanks and Hezekiahs,
'What of those Big Public Questions? When do you begin to work?'

Still the factions went on fighting - ('Tis a right that factions cherish)
But on one important matter both the parties were agreed;
In this world of sin and sorrow Bills may die and Percys perish,
But the votes to hold his billet are a politician's need.

Boodle battled strenuously, on his rival's ground encroaching;
Fearlessly the Foodle faction sneaked the other Party's views;
Full of fight were both opponents; the elections were approaching;
And upon mere Public Business none had any time to lose.

With the public patience straining, and quite half the nation scoffing
At the Bill and Percy parties, and the voters in despair.
Lo, a party led by Doodle rose serenely in the offing;
And it said it represented folk who sported Ginger Hair.

Doodle soon became the fashion: thousands flocked aronud his banner;
Scores of Antonys and Arthurs, Joes and Jacobs, Mats and Micks,
(Even some stray Bills and Percys renegaded). In like manner
Flocked the Hanks and Hezekiahs, and the Davids and the Dicks.

All the Red-haired of the nation joined the mighty Doodle party;
And the Brown-haired and the Black-haired and the Grey-haired sought him too;
For, they said, 'What does it matter? He has our support most hearty.
Never mind what shade your hair is. He will see the Big Things through!'

Then, when that great Doodle Party swept the polls at next election,
What a great rejoicing followed! Heavens, how the people cheered!
And the Boodle-Foodle party - (fused for general protection)
Was so absolutely routed that it almost disappeared.

How the Dicks and Davids shouted with the Johns and Jeremiahs:
'We don't care what shade his hair is - black or brown or pink or blue!'
'Glory!' cried the Mats and Michaels with the Hals and Hezekiahs.
'Hail to Doodle! Red-haired Doodle! He will see the Big Things through!'

Mr. Dooddle called his Caucus .... And he put it to them tersely:
'Gentlemen, it now behoves us, seeing all the votes we've got,
To be very, very careful lest we're criticised adversely.
Never mind the Red-haired voters; we have got them in the pot.

'But,' continued Mr. Doodle, 'there are others - perfect snorters.
There's this new Bald-headed Party led by Snoodle! Statesmanship
Now demands we do our utmost to win over his supporters.
Meantime, gentlemen, I'm thinking we must let the Big Things rip.

'Or, if we must tackle something to allay the public clamor,
Let us not be over-zealous and this alientate support
From our Party when the...Gracious!!!!'

I should like to go on telling how they fared; but foreign raiders
At this very hour descended on the land of Git-yer-gun;
And the Red-heads and the Bald-heads fell beneath the fierce invaders
Men who bore aloft a banner blazoned with a Rising Sun.

And they smote the Pats and Percys, and the Jims and Jeremiahs.
Bashed the Doodles, smashed the Snoodles, left the Mats and Micks for dead.
Thrust cold steel into the vitals of the Hanks and Hezekiahs,
And plugged all the Johns and Jacobs and the Josephs full of lead.

Thus it happened .... As I've mentioned, some folk think it has a moral.
You may judge that little matter, as I said when I began.
'Tis to me the simple story of a very ancient quarrel
'Mid the Git-yer-gun debaters with their quait old Party Plan.