Fighting the Boers [poem, 31 December 1899]

[Editor: A poem published in the “Acta Diurna” column of The West Australian Sunday Times, 31 December 1899.]

Fighting the Boers.

Now that the war is going on
Against the foreign Boers,
Why don’t we fight the Boers at home?
We reckon them by scores.
’Tis certain that for many years
They’ve shadowed our existence;
Why don’t we turn like trodden worms
And offer some resistance?

The bore who stops us in the street
And calmly button-holes us,
To tell us stories for whose length
No cleverness consoles us;
The bore who talks about himself,
His words, his thoughts, his actions —
Where is the maxim that shall sum
His life in vulgar fractions?

The bore who always calls on us
When we are very busy,
Who sits and chatters commonplace
Until our brains are dizzy.
Why won’t such enemies as these
Present an ultimatum?
With what serene and loyal minds
We’d muster and await ’em!

Alas, ’twould be a civil war,
Of brother fighting brother;
We most of us are bores ourselves
To some poor soul or other.
Perhaps I am a bore myself,
You’re one in its entirety;
To make an end of all the bores
Would quite destroy society.

The West Australian Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 31 December 1899, p. 1

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