[Editor: This poem by Grant Hervey was published in The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 20 July 1911.]
Bull, the Ruler.
[For The Bulletin.]
I forgot this was England, where are only two things — beer and Bible. — Fortnightly Review, April 6, p. 614.
His hand upon the continents, his ships upon the seas,
Bull runs his Empire business whilst doleful prophets wheeze;
They moan of dread calamities, of fearsome things to be —
Bull steers his ocean-arsenals with loud profanity.
His Empire mutters angrily from zone to distant zone;
Bull sits upon the safety-valve and lifts no dismal moan.
He is the Person Arrogant — the guile whereof he’s full
Conceals the primal cussedness of Beer-and-Bible BULL!
His children tough and insular go forth to many lands;
They grasp the spoils Imperial with large, emphatic hands.
His Rhodeses and his Chamberlains and all their lordly kith
Go burgling round the universe with common Jones and Smith;
A pack of dismal pessimists may wail in anguish dree —
Bull scoffs at all the platitudes of Guttersnipe, M.P.
There is for Bull one certainty — his credo I admire —
“Go out with cheerful fortitude and grab what you desire!”
“My Bible and my bayonets shall keep my coffers full,”
So saith the modern Testament of our parental Bull.
Our parent most intrepidly exploits the circling sphere,
His trust in God and gunnery, likewise in British beer;
No Stiggins is our relative, though sundry parsons wail,
And Nonconformist blatherskites like windy plagues assail.
Our parent smileth inwardly — ’tis pagan cheer and guile
Bull cloaks with sham humility, and so surrounds his pile.
The ruler’s outward rectitude conceals the primal man,
Who grabs with forceful promptitude and keeps whate’er he can;
He is the thief most excellent — a pirate person he,
Who waves his useful Testament and steals like you and me!
Our Bull is partly alderman and partly buccaneer —
A burglar, stout, respectable, whom lesser pirates cheer.
’Tis thus our Bull magnificent grows greater by degrees —
Britannia is most certainly the Mistress of the Seize!
Bull has his Lords and Ministers, who mind the shop at home;
Whilst Bull pursues the dividends, the Commons kick and foam;
’Tis part of Bull’s machinery — our parent grabs the rent
Whilst noisy folks gesticulate and howl in Parliament;
They spend their strength and energies in pounding at the doors,
And Bull admires the candidate who leaps and bounds and roars.
He is the useful blatherskite who keeps the people calm —
Who pours upon their discontent his wordy streams of balm.
Our parent’s famed simplicity deceives the careless eye;
Beneath his seeming innocence lurks Bull the sharp and sly.
He is an earnest cannibal who chews his fellow man,
And then “regrets the incident,” as per the British plan!
His Kings and Queens may coronate — “Amen,” says placid Bull;
“This simply helps me decorate their eyes with blessèd wool!
I’m free to run the business whilst cheering crowds hooray;
When they are throwing up their hats it is my busy day!”
His palpitating Bible-works and hustling breweries
Have made our British relative the Master of the Seas.
He loads his ocean-arsenals with Christian shot and shell,
Which makes the heathen customer feel pious — and unwell.
His Empire howls indignantly, but still, like solid stone,
Bull roosts upon the safety-valve that fizzes ’neath the Throne!
He is the Party Arrogant — all hail! dear parent Bull!
We, too, have Bible-factories, and keep our tankards full!
The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 20 July 1911, p. 7 (column 1)
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]