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A Matter of Knack

William Thomas Goodge 1862 – 1909

Jock M'Pherson was a person who was boastful in conversin',
  But respectable and ponderous and dignified withal!
Con M'Carty was a party who was something of a smarty,
  And beside the big M'Pherson looked particularly small;
  But Cornelius M'Carty, he was artful, after all!

When Cornelius M'Carty thought M'Pherson was his dart, he
  Made a wager he could carry him a mile along the track;
Which, considering M'Pherson was a very weighty person,
  Was a risky undertaking for M'Carty's little back.
  But Cornelius protested it depended on the knack!

"Take yer coat off!" called M'Carty, and M'Pherson gave a start, he
  Hadn't bargained for proceedings the reverse of dignified!
But he felt he had the best of the arrangement. "Take yer vest off!"
  Said M'Carty; and M'Pherson very graciously complied.
  It was in the private parlor, and the crowd was all outside.

"Take yer boots off!" said M'Carty in a cheerful tone and hearty,
  But M'Pherson he objected that the crowd would see his toes.
Said M'Carty, "See, M'Pherson, there ain't any sense in cursin',
  Take yer boots off, I don't reckon to be handicapped with those!
  I am not the sort of juggins you apparently suppose!"

This M'Pherson's wrath arouses. "But," said he, "I'll keep me trousers!"
  "Not a trouser!" said M'Carty, "or to me the wager goes.
The conditions you're reversin'; I will carry you, M'Pherson,
  But the wager doesn't say a blessed word about yer clothes!"
  That was how the small M'Carty had M'Pherson by the nose!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Thomas Goodge

William Thomas Goodge (28 September 1862 – 28 November 1909) was an English writer and journalist, who arrived in Australia in 1882, after jumping ship in Sydney. He worked in various jobs in New South Wales, including as a coal-miner, until he was engaged to write for "The Tribune" in North Sydney, a small weekly associated with the "Daily Telegraph". From there he was chosen by Harry Newman (Member of Parliament and newspaper proprietor) to edit "The Leader" newspaper in Orange, NSW. Goodge remained in Orange, becoming part-owner of "The Leader" at some point, until in the early 1900s he returned to Sydney and began writing for that city's newspapers, especially "The Sunday Times". Goodge was first married on 21 January 1892. His wife died 3 January 1895 of typhoid, leaving behind two children. Sometime later he remarried and had another child. Goodge died on 28 November 1909 in North Sydney. During his writing career, Goodge wrote mainly light-verse poems and short stories. Although he did have one novel, The Fortunes of Fenchurch, serialised in the pages of The Sunday Times, the book was never published separately. His best known works were "The Great Australian Adjective", and "The Oozlum Bird". Norman Lindsay, who illustrated the reprint volume of Goodge's only poetry collection, considered the poet better than C. J. Dennis. "Goodge, with his Hits! Skits! and Jingles!, is a much better light-verse writer than Dennis, and his book should be reprinted."  more…

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