[Editor: A poem by Grant Hervey, published in his “Cuts and Carvings” column in The Sunday Times (Perth, WA).]
The Hardest Road.
There are roads whereon you grumble and abuse the blessed track,
Saying, “Blast the thing to blazes” ; saying, “damn” and “double-damn,”
There are paths on which you murmur and you hanker to go back
To a road that’s fringed with comfort, bordered round with milk and ham !
There are roads on which you cavil at the scarcity of “grub,”
But the hardest road to travel is — The One Home From The Pub !
As you “leave it” bright and early, when the clocks are striking two,
With a firm resolve to hie you home to bed and missus dear ;
But the loadstone in the liquor waves its tentacles at you,
And you’ve got to bribe the reptile by consuming lots more beer !
Oh, there’s dark tracks where you chance it and a tender corn you stub ;
But the roughest road for transit is — The One Home From The Pub !
When the streaking shades of daylight penetrate the curtained bar,
Lo, you make a fresh endeavor and another bid for “port” ;
By the dim light of a fading and a disappearing star
Do you stumble to the gutter and then fall that same athwart !
Oh, I wield the gospel-gavel and I wave a truthful club
When I say the hardest road
Is the one to your abode.
Yea, the toughest road to travel is — The One Home From The Pub !
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 21 December 1902, page 12