“The Squatter” [poem, 8 March 1918]

[Editor: A poem published in Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 3, 8 March 1918.]

“The Squatter.”

He was a dinkum Aussie Bloke
On London leave and thus he spoke
To a big John Hop on duty there:
“Digger, give’s the oil for Nelson’s Square,
For they tell the tale in North of France
That those Lions will bark if by chance
An Aussie soldier should pass some day
Who hasn’t a Station out Queensland way.
For that’s the tale that the Aussies spun
To the Tabs, each was a Squatter’s son.
Most of our swaddies are city-bred,
Don’t know a sheep from a shearing shed.
So I’m off down to the Square to see
If truth’s in the tale they tell to me.”
The John Hop smiled and he said: “I’m glad
To meet at last with an honest lad
Who hasn’t a Station or Cattle Run.
Shake hands, old chap, you’re the ONLY ONE!”
But he saw not the extended hand,
As he softly spoke in accents bland,
And coldly gazed at the man in blue:

J. McHugh.

Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 3, 8 March 1918, page 9

Editor’s notes:
John Hop = “John Hopper” (rhyming slang) cop, copper (policeman)

oil = the dinkum oil; the low-down, the truth of the matter

Square = Trafalgar Square (in London, England)

swaddie = (also spelt swaddy) a private soldier (from 1800s British dialect “swad”, a country bumpkin).

tab = girl

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