“Goan’ ’Ave a Phenyle!” [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 23 January 1921]

[Editor: A poem by “Dryblower” Murphy. Published in The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 23 January 1921.]

“Goan’ ’Ave a Phenyle!”

All countries have their courtesies,
Verboseness and vernaculars,
As varied as the plants and trees
Upon this mundane orb or Mars.
All nations have their languages,
Their synonyms of speech and such,
Their classics and their slanguages,
Their dialects and double-dutch.
But here when gay Lothario woos
And in his wooing runs amuck,
This clyner culver to him coos:
“Goan’ ’ave a phenyle —
Do a duck!”

No beating round about the bush
With beg-your-pardon-I-was-wrong
The pleasant patois of the push
Embellishes her speech and song.
No maiden mealy-mouthed is she,
Nor splitter of linguistic straws;
Her fluency is fresh and free,
No social chewey clogs her jaws.
It’s not exactly what you call
The conversation of the crook;
But hear her kick-off in a brawl:
“Goan’ ’ave a phenyle —
Sling yer ’ook!”

To hear her at her breezy best
Proceed to picnics on the Swan,
Where, while she prawned or crabbed or drest
Some Jane got willing with her John.
It is not only what she says,
But how she says it, bless her heart!
Upon her it is good to gaze
With simple words that sting and smart
Her rival one she doesn’t land;
Or trawl her through a drinking trough,
She merely snarls the curt command:
“Goan’ ’ave a phenyle —
You nick orf!”

Our heroine is at her best
At homely, hearty repartee,
When as a waitress she is drest
Where knutlets tackle toast and tea.
If she has got an oldster set,
And on some young bloke wants to wait,
Vesuvius has no blacker jet
Than she who brings your cup and plate.
If you should dare to rap or ring,
Or mention that for food you yearn,
You’ll hear amid the ting-a-ling:
“Goan’ ’ave a phenyle —
Wait yer turn!”

To hear our beauties at their best
Seek Applecross or Nedlands Pier,
Where hoodlum yachtsmen grubby drest
Pollute the air with prawns and beer.
Watch six small-shandy Romeos
With just as many Juliets;
Observe the fluency that flows
From those short-skirted-sprawling pets.
Tell them that beer a boat can’t sail
(Whether it can or whether it can’t),
Then hear upon the rising gale:
“Goan’ ’ave a phenyle —
’Ow’s yer aunt?”

But from the Crawley bathing belle,
Clean-limbed, clean-minded, clean of heart,
Who trudgeons through the calm and swell
The phenyle flapper keeps apart.
The raucous-voiced young female freak
Who ruins many a river side
Would shudder, shiver, shrink, and shriek
If forced to frolic in the tide.
Her long suit is a yahoo yacht
And parents she can always bluff,
And when a victim she can spot:
“Goan’ ’ave a phenyle —
Cut the rough!”

— Dryblower.

The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 23 January 1921, p. 8

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