Works in the Bulletin 1909
Mr. Briggs said he thought the conference that was recently held would tend very largely to re-cement the
bond between the homeland and the Commonwealth. They were bound together not only by a love of kinship
and family life, but also of commercial life, and it would be a grave mistake if those bonds were ever broken.-
British Chamber of Commerce delegate at Wesley Church, Melbourne.
Joseph Briggs, of Yorkshire, England, blessed country of Freetrade,
Where the large importers' profits and fine sentiments are made,
Deep into his mine of wisdom, and, with British fervency,
Bids us mark the Bonds of Empire reaching out across the sea;
Binding us to one another -
Us and our benign old mother -
Patriotic apron-strings of Empire we would scorn to free.
Crimson threads of kith and kinship - thin red lines of sentiment!
What a wave of fervid friendship over all the continent
When some speaker bids us ponder
On those threads that reach out yonder...
But alas, there are acute grumblers whom mere threads do not content !
Silken ties! O, who would venture to disturb a single thread?
What a roar of public censure would descend upon his head !
Split the welkin with your shouting!
Cheer those ties! What? Still some doubting
Pesslmists? Then here is something more substantial in their stead:-
GOLDEN BONDS! ... Ah! Now we mention cold commercial £ s. d.
All the land is at attention. Witness how the Empire re-
Bonds at three or four percent'll
Beat all shackles sentimental
In the land of shops and shekels, in the country of the free.
Cold, hard cash. O, magic metal! How the golden cables groan
When we're called upon to settle or renew our little loan.
Never! Though it strains and quivers
When the bloated Dreadnought-givers
Try to shirk the cost of paying for a navy of our own.
Chains of gold! Brave bonds of boodle of the merchants' finest make
No assault, however rude, 'll cause those golden links to break.
Crimson threads may snap and sever;
Silken ties may break, but never
Shall those chains; they hold for ever for the loyal traders' sake.
The Bulletin, 14 October 1909, p34