’Is ’Arp [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 1926]

[Editor: This poem by “Dryblower” Murphy was published in Dryblower’s Verses (1926).]

’Is ’Arp.

A pommy pea named ’Arry ’Urst,
But two years out in Aussie-land,
Went on a roarin’, ragin’ burst,
Took sick, an’ joined the ’Evenly band.
’Is wife took on, as most wives do —
An’ wet ’er ’ankey throo an’ throo.

This ’Arry ’Urst ’ad been a nut,
One of the sort that go it ’ot,
When fun was on ’e’d ’ave ’ees cut,
An’ allus rumbled wot was wot
One of the boys awake an’ wide
Was ’Arry ’Urst wot recent died.

Now, ’Arry’s cobbers liked ’im well —
Most pommies stick to ship-board mates —
They wept above his wooden shell,
An’ in their diaries entered dates.
They pictured ’Arry up above
Singin’ of light an’ lambs an’ love.

Upon ’is grave they dropped a tear,
Subscribed a twenty shillin’ wreath;
Callin’ a lovin’ ’usban’ dear,
The cove decayin’ underneath
The widder ’ere er thorts expressed —
She’d known ’im longer than the rest.

They little knoo this ’Arry ’Urst
Would bang ’ees brother when in beer;
They little knoo on ev’ry burst
’E’d plug an eye an’ fill an ear.
When ’e was on the pewter pot
’E made it wlllin’, strong, an’ ’ot.

“I s’pose,” a beery mourner said
As someone ordered in a tid,
“’E’s got an ’alo round ’ees ’ead,
’An’ gives the cherubs swank an’ kid.
I see ’im now a-singin’ ’imms
Among the clouds and starry glims.”

“With the angels now,” a cobber said,
“I’ll bet ’ee’s bangin’ ’ees ’arp on ’igh.”
The weeping widder raised er ’ead,
“You doan know ’Arry,” she made reply,
“As sure as crayfish isn’t carp,
’E’s bangin’ the angels with ’ee’s ’arp!”

Edwin Greenslade Murphy, Dryblower’s Verses, Perth, W.A.: E. G. Murphy, 1926, page 10

Previously published (with some differences) in:
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 21 September 1913, p. 8

Editor’s notes:
Aussie-land = Australia

bang = hit, punch, strike

pommies = people from England (plural of “pommy”)

pommy = someone from England

tid = an alcoholic drink, an abbreviation of the rhyming slang “tiddlywink”; may also refer to someone who is drunk, i.e someone who is “tiddly” (may also refer to a Chinese person, being an abbreviation of the rhyming slang “tiddlywink”, for “Chink”)
See: 1) Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor (editors), The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Milton Park (Abingdon, Oxon, UK): Routledge, 2008 [see entry for “tiddlywink”]
2) Geoff Tibballs, The Ultimate Cockney Geezer’s Guide to Rhyming Slang, [London]: Ebury Press 2008, page 181 [see entry for “tiddlywink”]

[Editor: Corrected “on ’e d ’ave” to “on ’e’d ’ave”.]

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