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Joey’s Job

Edward George Dyson 1865 (Ballarat, Victoria) – 1931 (Saint Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria)

In days before the trouble Jo was rated as
a slob.
He chose to sit in hourly expectation of a job.
He'd loop hisself upon a post, for seldom
friends had he,
A gift of patient waitin' his distinctif quality.
He'd linger in a doorway, or he'd loiter on the
Edgin' modestly aside to let the fleetin'
moments pass.

Jo' begged a bob from mother, but more often
got a clout,
And settled down with cigarettes to smoke the
devil out.
The one consistent member of the Never
Trouble Club,
He put a satin finish on the frontage of the
His shoulder-blades were pokin' out from
polishin' the pine;
But if a job ran at him Joey's footwork was

Jo strayed in at the cobbler's door, but, scoffed
at as a fool,
He found the conversation too exhaustin' as
a rule;
Or, canted on the smithy coke, he'd hoist his
feet and yawn,
His boots slid up his shinbones, and his pants
displayin' brawn:
And if the copper chanced along 'twas beauty-
ful to see
Joe wear away and made hisself a fadest

Then came the universal nark. The Kaiser
let her rip.
They cleared the ring. The scrap was for the
whole world's championship.
Jo Brown was takin' notice, lurkin' shy be-
neath his hat,
And every day he crept to see the drillin' on
the flat.
He waited, watchin' from the furze the blokes
in butcher's blue,
For the burst of inspiration that would tell him
what to do.

He couldn't lean, he couldn't lie. He yelled
out in the night.
Jo understood—he'd all these years been
spoilin' for a fight!
Right into things he flung himself. He
took his kit and gun,
Mooched gladly in the dust, or roasted gaily
in the sun.
“Gorstruth,” he said, with shining eyes, “it
means a frightful war,
'N' now I know this is the thing that Heaven
meant me for.”

Jo went away a corporal and fought again the
And like a duck to water Joey cottoned to the
If anythin' was doin' it would presently come
That Joseph Brown from Booragool was there
or thereabout.
He got a batch of medals, and a glorious
Attached all of a sudden to the name of
Sergeant Brown.

Then people talked of Joey as the dearest
friend they had;
They were chummy with his uncles, or ac-
quainted with his dad.
Joe goes to France, and presently he figure as
the best
Two-handed all-in fighter in the armies of the
And men of every age at home and high and
low degree,
We gather now, once went to school with
Sergeant Brown, V.C.

Then Hayes and Jo, in Flanders met, and very
proud was Hayes
To shake a townsman by the hand, and sing
the hero's praise,
“Oh, yes,” says Jo, “I'm doin' well, 'n' yet
I might do more.
If I was in a hurry, mate, to finish up this war
I'd lay out every Fritz on earth, but, strike me,
what a yob
A man would be to work himself out of a
flamnin' job!”

Now Jo's a swell lieutenant, and he's keepin'
up the pace.
Ha “Record” says Lieutenant Brown's an
honor to the place.
The town gets special mention every time he
scores. We bet
If peace don't mess his chances up, he'll be
Field-Marshal yet.
Dad, mother and the uncles Brown and all our
people know
That Providence began this war to find a grip
for Jo!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:04 min read

Edward George Dyson

Edward George Dyson, or 'Ted' Dyson, was an Australian journalist, poet, playwright and short story writer. He was the elder brother of illustrators Will Dyson (1880–1938) and Ambrose Dyson (1876–1913), with three sisters also of artistic and literary praise. Dyson wrote under several – some say many – nom-de-plumes, including Silas Snell. In his day, the period of Australia's federation, the poet and writer was 'ranked very closely to Australia's greatest short-story writer, Henry Lawson'. With Lawson known as the 'swagman poet', Ogilvie the 'horseman poet', Dyson was the 'mining poet'. Although known as a freelance writer, he was also considered part of The Bulletin writer group. more…

All Edward George Dyson poems | Edward George Dyson Books

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    "Joey’s Job" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/9565/joey’s-job>.

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