Petherick Pilloried [poem by Dryblower, 14 April 1901]

[Editor: A poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, published in the “’Variety Vamps and Sunday Satires” column in The West Australian Sunday Times, 14 April 1901.]

Petherick Pilloried.

By Dryblower.

(“Perth suffers under various ills and inflictions, not the least of which is Petherick, its ertswhile Town Clerk.”)

Mohammedans pious believe and assert
All men have a separate mission,
Each baby’s allotted its sorrow and joy
As soon as the doctor’s declared it a boy,
Whatever it’s rank and position.
Each man as he hustles or idles along,
A destiny settled must steer for.
But Allah’s own prophet might feelingly say,
When reviewing some samples in W.A.,
“Now what is that personage here for.”

What would he suppose is the mission in chief,
Could he visit this suffering earth,
Of Petherick podgy, who boasted aloud,
As he crawled at the heels of the parvenu crowd,
I’ll be Fitzgibbon of Perth.
For years he had flattered and fawned upon those
Who gave him his guerdon of crumbs,
For years be delighted to carefully wipe
The shoes of the Mayor, who trafficked in tripe,
And threw him the stones of his plums.

A halo angelic begirt and adorned
His public career in Vic.;
Sufficient to mention he bade it adieu
From the stern of a vessel afar on the blue,
For his mode of departure was quick.
He’d softly and silently folded his “port,”
An Arab-like stolen away.
And seeking the ladder of fortune and fame,
A person important he quickly became
In patulous W.A.

By Alick, the Ample, who took him in tow,
A civic position was found.
The “3 per cent.” comforts appealed to his taste,
And be sure little liquor went running to waste
When the clerk and his thirst were around.
As brothel inspector he managed so well
That he closed his report with a sigh,
Like Great Alexander, more slums he desired,
For the work of inspector he rather admired.
’Twas neither expensive nor dry.

“The Council I’ve got by the slack by the wool,”
“He’d boast to his credulous cobbers.
But as Alick was ever his jerry made Joss.
He took precious care he reserved for his boss
His grovelling speeches and slobbers.
He’s reckoned a ‘‘scaler” without a compeer,
By each metropolitan cabby,
But jehu refuses to tout for his tick,
With rubicund adjectives torrid and thick,
And remarks on his character shabby.

And now as a student of law he has failed,
Through a rather remarkable sickness:
An illness he managed to catch at Cremorne,
For his breath, as he staggered away in the morn,
Had a rather remarkable thickness:
His swagger “at homes” are howling shivoos,
And none but Society go there,
Both Poady and Alick ate tough as old teak
And the “lydies” invited are tasty and “chic,”
So matters are never too slow there.

So well might Mohammed in wonderment muse
While Petherick’s cumbering Perth,
Unless he imagines he’s sent as a scare
To tell us for evil we all should prepare
As long as we linger on earth.
More than once in a year this city knows well
The dreaded bubonic has downed us;
But whenever that plague is successfully fought
There’s another that lurks, of a virulent sort,
While Petherick hovers around us.

The West Australian Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 14 April 1901, p. 1

[Editor: Corrected “on th blue” to “on the blue”.]

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