A Village Blacksmith [poem by “Kookaburra”, 22 September 1916]

[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Evelyn Observer, and Bourke East Record, 22 September 1916.]

A Village Blacksmith.

[With apologies to Longfellow.]

Under his massive iron roof
The village smithy stands,
Upon his face there is a scowl
And idle is his hands.
I’ve got no work he cries. Alas
’Tis needless to repine,
I must away to the farmers go
To sell some binder twine.

The smith a busy man is he
To catch the public eye.
The farmers he doth much deride
As he sees them passing by.
They hoard their wealth he cries in wrath.
With that I can’t agree,
Till they’ve enough to buy more land
But none they’ll give to me.

He holds a Socialistic view
And fears no great alarm.
He thinks that when the war is o’er
He’ll got some Alien’s farm,
So he mooches out among them
To see which is the best,
So that when they are presented
He’ll know where to make his nest.

He goes on Sunday to the church
Of the service he makes game.
His pewmate from the western plains
Doth also act the same.
The children from the town below
Are likewise most devout,
They wink the eye at those close by
And cast the sweets about.

Why do they go to Church you say,
The answer is quite clear,
They go to hear the music of
The organist that’s here.
They must some light amusement have
For picture shows there’s none.
So that is why they go to church
To mock their Master’s Son.

— Kookaburra.

The Evelyn Observer, and Bourke East Record (Kangaroo Ground, Vic.), 22 September 1916, p. 3

Editor’s notes:
This poem is based upon “The Village Blacksmith”, by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), the opening lines of which are “Under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands”.

alien = in an early Australian context, someone of non-British origin

Master’s Son = in a religious context, Jesus Christ

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