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Australia's Pride



Now Pat Ahearne, of Ingleburn
  Upon the Castlereagh,
Was flush of cash and very "flash"
  As shearer-persons say.
At Yankee grab his luck was cool,
At loo he'd lately scooped the pool;
He'd simply smashed the two-up school -
  [Assisted by a "grey!"]

And Pat grew then like other men,
  His head began to swell;
As he was fly he thought he'd try
  The Sydney folks as well.
"Their chances would be mighty slim
Of working any points on him,
When Euchre Bill and Ginger Jim
  Had found he was a sell!"

But bushmen's games are not the games
  That Sydney spielers play;
A country smarty's "just their dart,"
  The city sharpers say.
And Patrick he was taken down
For all he had, but half-a-crown,
Before he'd been in Sydney town
  For more than half a day!

'Twas well for Pat, the shearer, that
  He'd had the sense to pay
His fare's return to Ingleburn
  Before he went away.
It's not what you could call a joke
To find yourself completely "broke";
But Patrick had a splendid stroke
  In store for Castlereagh!

He found a shop - an oyster-shop -
  Where lobster, crab and cray
Were all alive, and seemed to thrive;
  And purchased straight-away
Some crayfish and some lobsters, too
(Such things are cheap in Woolloomooloo),
And caught the Western mail that flew
  Towards the Castlereagh.

The train was crowded; which allowed
  No sleeping on the trip.
Pat had a flask, and thought to ask
  The men to take a nip.
Just then a lobster chanced to find
The bag unclosed, and, feeling kind,
It gave a man a nip; but mind,
  It was not on the trip!

And then some crayfish got away,
  With lobsters, two or three;
And sundry grips and divers nips
  Made things extremely free.
Profane expressions filled the air
  (Disgraceful how some people swear!);
A livelier time than Pat had there
  You would not wish to see!

A great hooray! the ladies, they
  Declared it was a plot,
Beyond a doubt, to drive them out.
  But leave? No, they would not;
They swore that they would clear the coast,
  Or else the guard should lose his post;
But women always are a most
  Unreasonable lot!

On Pat's return to Ingleburn
  The shell-fish were in tow,
And things were gay on Castlereagh
  Preparing for the Show.
For every township in the scrub
That owns two churches and a pub
Must run a Show and draw a sub.
  From Goldsbrough, Mort and Co.!

Now shell-fish are extremely rare
  Upon the Castlereagh,
And Ingleburn galoots don't yearn
  For lobster or for cray.
Lobsters indeed they'd never seen,
And never might, had it not been
For Pat Ahearne, and he was mean
  Enough to make them pay!

On lucre bent he hired a tent
  And made a rise with ease.
'Twas at the Show, of course, you know
  Where side-shows always please.
The shell-fish they were placed inside,
And Pat stood by the door and cried:
"Walk in and see Australia's Pride -
  The monster Sydney fleas!"
 

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:37 min read
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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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    "Australia's Pride" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41744/australia's-pride>.

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