Works in the Bulletin 1908
TO OUR BREAD AND BUTTER
Mr Reid has announced his retirement from the position of leader of the Opposition. - News Item.
Tidings of gloom! George! Houston! Must you go?
And is it Yea or Nay, or just Yes-No?
But hear me first, a deputationist
From those mid whom you will be sadly missed.
From unfinancial scribes whose jingle rhymes
Must e'er reflect the manners of the times;
From pale cartoonists whose gaunt fingers creep
To limn your form, unconsciously, in sleep.
Say not those happy, careless days are gone,
When, being stumped for themes, we turned you on!
When the "idea" was coy, what need to grope?
Was not our motto, "While there's Reid there's hope?"
Ay, many a night we've sat with puckered brow,
Chewing our pen, e'en as the patient cow
Mangles her cud, till, faced with mental wreck,
We fled to you - and won the fatted cheque.
Now whither shall we turn? Yet our distress
Is tinged with hope: for tho' you've murmured "Yes,"
Tho' you have said distinctly you must go,
We're listening for the old familiar "No."
'Tis not mere politics with which you play,
The bread of bards hangs on your yea, or nay.
Have you not realised, with sudden fear,
That you are trifling with an artist's beer?
Yet if it is, indeed, at last "Good-bye,"
Man of the inturned toe and glazed eye,
Let us reflect, as we bemoan our fate,
You've paid us handsomely, at any rate.
A failure? Nay! Whatever you may be -
Doomed, disappointed, dead politic'ly,
In this, at least, you've been the Great Success;
You've won us thousands from the weekly press.
The Bulletin, 17 December 1908, p32