The Jingoes Have Their Lesson: Kruger Returns [poem by Grant Hervey, 16 July 1905]

[Editor: A poem by Grant Hervey.]

The Jingoes Have Their Lesson.

Kruger Returns.

(Oom Paul Kruger’s body was landed at Capetown recently for burial. A crowd of ten thousand followed the cortege of the exiled President. On the coffin of the dead patriot was one wreath inscribed, “To Paul Kruger — The Friend of the White Workers.” It was subscribed for by the wronged and workless in shillings, sixpences, pennies, and half-pence — Daily paper.)

They are landing Kruger’s coffin ’neath the Lion’s head to-day —
They are weeping who were cursing only four short years ago ;
They have learned their Jingo lesson in the bitter Jingo way;
And they pile their wreaths in sorrow, and their heads are bowed in woe.

Think of Kruger, smiling sadly, when that tardy truth was told —
“To the friend of the White Workers,” not the Kruger of the Press;
To the man who fought for Freedom with a right hand strong and bold —
Ah, the satire of that tribute stings with savage bitterness.

When the Boers were dead and banished, when we learned at last the truth —
When their farms were blackened ruins, lo ! the cruel facts came out.
We Australians burned and slaughtered — aye, we knew not reck or ruth —
We were foremost with the hirelings round Black Cronje’s grim redoubt.
Sing the gay and festive firestick — it was numbered with our crimes ;
For we razed the Dopper’s farmhouse, and we laughed and rode away;

Aye, the Kiplings drugged and fooled us with their blood-bedabbled rhymes,
And we took our thoughtless rifle and went forth to burn and slay !
For the Press was yelling, yelling, with its old blood-hungry yell,
And our heads were big and empty, as the mob’s heads mostly are;

So we turned the Orange Free State to a blackened, blazing hell,
And we crushed Oom Paul’s Republic when the Fat Press screeched for Rar.
Now we sit with bloody fingers, and survey the hideous past,
And we plead a husky ‘Guilty’ in a garb of convict’s gray,

Lo, the spirit o, Australia beats her breast and stands aghast —
She’s a cast-off mercenary counting o’er her Judas pay!

Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 16 July 1905, page 13

Editor’s notes:
A note on page 8 of the Sunday Times, 16 July 1905, gives the author of this poem as Grant Hervey: “On page 13 appears a poem entitled “The Jingoes Have Their Lesson.” This was written by Mr. Grant Hervey for “Barrier Truth,” and we acknowledge our obligations to poet and paper.”

[Editor: deleted repeated words “ed at Capetown recently for burial.)”; changed paper.” to paper.); Guiltyf to Guilty’; mercenery to mercenary.]

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