[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, 9 January 1920.]
Long years ago, in days of old,
When less sufficed our needs,
And land at cheaper rates was sold,
We had no noxious weeds.
The Scotsman brought his thistle here,
John Bull his wildest rose.
Reminiscent of memories dear,
Each in profusion grows.
But what was once cherished plant
Is now our greatest pest;
Do what we will we find we can’t
Speed this unwelcome guest.
And oft you’ll see a fruitful field,
Once bright as smiling May,
That to the foe is forced to yield
Who rules with cruel sway.
For there King Brier reigns supreme,
And supersedes the thistle;
The people through neglect ’twould seem
Pay dearly for their whistle.
But lo! a cure has been devised
To aid them in distress,
And from afar they’ve been advised
It is a great success.
The farmers view with interest,
And with observance keen,
For what they’ve heard will kill the pest
Is known as Cactusene.
Some leading men agreed to view
A public demonstration,
To see what Cactusene would do
To save the situation.
An expert, used to pen and ink,
Did act as correspondent;
But some showed discontent, I think,
While others were despondent.
As for the leading men that day,
Their zeal had somehow fizzled,
As, one by one, they went away
Until they all had mizzled.
’Twas like the parable of old,
When men declined a feast;
Each did some lame excuse unfold,
And one had sold a beast.
Another found that harvest time
Was drawing very near,
And one remained in his prime,
Found home-life doubly dear.
And one retired to a farm,
Could not forsake his job;
For then a country life does charm
Upon this sad old blob.
Then to the riff-raff of the soil
Were invitations given
To see this Cactosene despoil
The pests that now were living.
And so they saw the acid test
Upon those noxious weeds,
And know the experts did their best
To satisfy their needs.
The Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 9 January 1920, p. 3
Cactusene = a weed poison, which was manufactured in Australia by the Cactus Estates company
mizzle = leave suddenly (may also refer to a light rain, a fine mist; drizzle)
[Editor: Corrected “Remniscent” to “Reminiscent”.]