The Awakening [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 26 May 1901]

[Editor: A poem by “Dryblower” Murphy. Published in The West Australian Sunday Times, 26 May 1901.]

The Awakening.

By Dryblower.

Last week the “Morning Herald” moaned and maundered through a whole sub-leader in an obvious, but weak-kneed attempt to puff the Arnold Theatrical Co., which, through a delay in the arrival of the Orizaba, missed one show night in Perth. “Several theatrical shows,” it said, “have suffered through similar delays. The moral is that the Trans-Australian railway should be immediately constructed.” Let us return thanks:—

We have lived and groped in darkness, we have been so bally blind
That we couldn’t recognise a crying want
Till the perspicacious “Herald” — in the manner of its kind
Bathed our mental optics in its inky font,
’Till the busker and his baggage and his entertaining troupe
Were delayed a night from paralysing Perth,
Though the railway never reached us we had no desire to whoop
Or assert we’d any right upon the Earth,

But this terrible calamity, which bomb-like on us fell,
Has shown — as if the warning were Divine,
That it’s up to us to shift ourselves and hustle round and yell
For the starting of the Trans-Australian line.
Imagine — if it’s possible — our poignant grief and woe
If again, through West Australia’s coastal gales
One night there failed to open here a nigger minstrel show
Whose stars were Charlie Pope and Irving Sayles.

Johnny Coleman, too, might be induced when once the line is through
To Westward come again his luck to try,
For though his exit Eastward was a “wet ’un” deep and blue,
We’d prefer it if his entrance here were dry.
If all could come by rail and dodge the Great Australian Bight,
And the Leeuwin’s dreaded surges they could shirk,
Dick Davis might to Perth return, to hear, when turns are trite,
The galley rat’s request to look for work.

We cannot blame the “Herald” or the “Hangman’s” ponderous print,
For they’ve little else to chronicle but shows,
For they weren’t “in the know” enough to even get a hint
Of what this paper learned “beneath the rose.”
As they couldn’t find, by fossicking, when Throssell meant to go,
And who would be the next Westralian Shah,
They had to pad their columns with a leader on a show
Which appeared to somehow “dunno where it are.”

The West Australian Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 26 May 1901, p. 4

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