To Whom It May Concern [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 21 April 1901]

[Editor: A poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, published in the “Variety Vamps and Sunday Satires” column in The West Australian Sunday Times, 21 April 1901.]

To Whom It May Concern.

By Dryblower.

A Federal invitation was sent from Melbourne to a Mayor in this State, inviting him and wife to the celebration festivities. He replied thus:— “The mayor of Blank and Lady mayoress except (sic.) with pleasure the invitation of the Federal Government. The mayor will also bring with him three young ladies, as well as his private secretary and valet. The lady mayoress will also bring her lady’s maid with her. The Mayor will feel obliged if the Government will provide the necessary accommodation.”

Why stop at the items you’ve got on the list,
O, Mayor, beshrewd and begilt?
Like all who arise from a past rather snide,
A quadruped lofty you ought to bestride
And gallop wherever you wilt.
Your boodle bags bid you, when doing the East,
The marmalade lavishly spread,
For though you are mostly a Mayoral sham
You know all the virtues (and vices) in jam —
At least so the Crow-eaters said.

The item containing the trio of maids
Is good just as far as it goes;
But it doesn’t go far, for your baldness denotes
You’ve sown in your travels some acres of oats
And sniffed at the plenteous rose.
The feminine flunkey who teases the tow
On the head of the Mayoress massive
Is surely not she whom you fired through the door
For asking, like Oliver Twist, for some more
When the other poor drudges were passive

Don’t take any risks, take no-one who knows
The why and the wherefore of “scraps.”
When someone attired in splendorous frocks
Gives someone possessing the scantiest locks
Some rather unmerciful raps.
Take none who could hint at a Mayor hen-pecked,
Or family matters could touch on;
Take none who could prove that your family crest
Was bought second-hand since the boom in the West
Along with your shoddy escutcheon.

You really should take, to do yourself proud,
A phalanx of flunkies in scarlet;
There’s “safety in numbers,” I think you’ll agree,
Don’t limit yourself on a sumptuous spree
To one Jack-of-everything varlet.
A SCORE would compete for your kudos and quids
While ONE would be boss of your lordship,
And blab when he’d merrily mingled his drinks.
Of river “diversions” and “3 per cent.” jinks,
And how you behaved when aboardship.

All Melbourne would titter in merciless mirth
At the valet de chambres’ recital.
How grovelling Croesus had scattered in vain
His shimmering shekels in trying to gain
That boodle-won’t-purchase-it title
The ghost who’ll compose all the speeches you’ll make,
And doctor the English you’ll cripple,
Will also be safer if kept far away
From the crimson carousal where everything’s gay
’Mid lakes of gratuitous tipple.

But if ever that scribbling menial “squeaked”
And gave you away to your foes,
That helot a gust of Gehenna would face,
For you use with a bullocky’s garrulous grace
All epithets couleur de rose.
And in spite of apologies meek and profuse,
He’d be choked with a merited neck cord,
Especially if ever he failed to produce
For urgent and special immediate use,
That famous “connubial record.”

The West Australian Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 21 April 1901, p. 1

[Editor: Corrected “bring wiih”to “bring with”.]

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