A Call to the Heart [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 26 September 1909]

[Editor: A poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, published in the “Verse and Worse” column in The Sunday Times, 26 September 1909.]

A Call to the Heart.

London cable:—

“On Sunday the newly-appointed Archbishop of Sydney preached his farewell sermon at Manchester Cathedral. The call to Australia, he declared, was a call to his heart. He had been reading the works of Australian poets and thinkers, hoping to catch some of their ideals in regard to the problems ahead.”

He feels that Australia is calling,
So he cannot but list and obey,
Where the cotton-mill whistles are squalling
He’s packing his port. to-day.
To a church potentate of his kidney
Three thousand a year they will part,
So he feels that his summons to Sydney,
Is a Call to the Heart.

In his sky there are no sorrow-cloud inky,
As he packs his portmanteau to come
Where the larrikin stoushes the Chinkie
In the bottle-O Darlinghurst slum
For years he has had mental scansion
Where Sam Hordern ran a big mart,
And three thousand quid and a mansion
Is a Call to the Heart.

He consulted his soul in the matter,
And he felt in his Manchester joint,
No Bishops in England look fatter
Than those who pervaded Pott’s Point.
And bringing his wife and two kidlets,
It’s easy with England to part;
So he felt that the three thousand quidlets
Was a Call to his Heart.

He’d been reading the work of our poets,
He’d read how the Kangaroo frisks,
With their “dammits” their “dashits” and “blowits,”
Their “blankys” and red “asterisks.”
He’d read of our “cuddlesome clyners,”
He knows what is meant by a “tart,”
And these, with a swagload of shiners,
Mean a Call to the Heart.

Now which of your poets has tempted
This Shepherd of Souls from his flock,
To come where a church is oft emptied
When a cronk parson taketh the knock?
He leaves where the mining promoter
Makes a guinea-pig meek of a Bart,
But three thousand quid and a motor
Is a Call to the Heart.

Was it “Crosscut,” “Jean Dell” or old “Bluebush”
Induced this begartered old pea
To come where the scent of the new bush
Sings songs sweeter far than the sea.
At any rate, some one has brought him
From the highly-religious Old Dart,
But do not think that
’Twas the salary fat,
That gave the old pot with the shovel-shaped hat
His Call to the Heart.


The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 26 September 1909, p. 12

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