The Fat Man and the War [poem by Magnet]

[Editor: This poem by Magnet was published in The Bulletin Reciter, 1901.]

The Fat Man and the War.

They sing of the pride of battle,
They sing of the Dogs of War,
Of the men that are slain like cattle
On African soil afar.

They sing of the gallant legions
A-bearin’ the battle’s brunt
Out in them torrid regions
A-fightin’ the foe in front.

They sing of Mauser and Maxim,
And their doin’s across the foam,
But I hear none sing of the Fat Man
Who sits at his ease at home,

Contrivin’ another measure
For scoopin’ a lump o’ tin,
New coffers to hoard the treasure
That his brothers’ blood sweeps in ;

Chock-full o’ zeal for speedin’
The sword of his Queen’s behest,
But other men’s legs to bear it
Is the notion that suits him best.

Nothin’ he knows of fightin’ ;
He never was built that way ;
But the game of War is excitin’
When the stake’s worth more than the play.

An’ a fat little time is comin’,
When the turmoil has settled down,
An’ the Dogs of War are silent,
And the veldt is bare an’ brown ;

When the sun has licked the blood up
An’ the brown earth hid the bones,
His miners will go out seekin’
For gold and precious stones.

Like a ghoul from the reekin’ shambles
He grubs out his filthy pelf,
Rtapin’ a cursed harvest
Where he dursn’t have sown himself.

Now, this is one man’s opinion,
An’ I think it is fair an’ right :
If he wants the land of the Dutchman
Let him go like a man an’ fight.

If the African mines have treasure,
An’ the Fat Man wants a bone,
Let him go by himself an’ find it,
Let him trek for the Front alone !


A.G. Stephens (editor). The Bulletin Reciter: A Collection of Verses for Recitation from “The Bulletin” [1880-1901], The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1902 [first published 1901], pages 161-163

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