Works in the Bulletin 1910

Messrs. W.V. Brown and R. Philp, M's.L.A., delivered addresses yesterday to the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce on the subject of a transcontinental railway. Mr. Philp advocated a line from Camooweal to Windorah and from Windorah to Charleville. - Press telegram

From Camoweal to Windywoe, from Windywoe to Thirstyville,
We'll drag the line around the map, along the plain, and up the hill;
Scross the desert, to the swamp, across the swamp and up the rise.
"Our " Sacred Rights must be preserved, "our" claims you'll have to recognise.

One night, while others were abed, With weary eyes and aching head, I pored for hours and hours upon a map, Till dots and lines began to swim. "Suggested routes" grew blurred and dim, And then, I think, I must have had a nap.
But, with a start,it seemed to me, I sat boolt upright suddenly, And gazed, with staring eyes, before me straight; For there, upon my inkwell's brim, With aspect most grotesque and grim, Methought a large, fat, hairy spider sate.
"Good fellow, you behold in me An insect of repute," said he. "I'm that State Insect, so much talked about. I've frequently been mentioned in Such papers as THE BULLETIN; So you have beard of me before, no doubt.
"You've recently," pursued the brute, "Been pondering upon the route Of our Transcontinental Railway Line. I do not know what views you hold; But, if it be not deemed too bold, I'll just acquaint you with a few of mine."
Then, suddenly, the creature dropped Heels over head, and downward flopped Into the pot, and floundered in the ink. I calmly thought, "He'll drown, no doubt"; But presently he struggled out And sat, once more, all dripping, on the brink.
"Ere I proceed to illustrate The views of each protesting State Thus did the beast address me from the pot - "Please understand I represent All phases of State discontent; In me is concentrated all the lot!"
Then quickly from the pot he crawled, And, ere I could prevent it, sprawled Upon the map. I cursed at him in vain. And as he went, and left behind Long, inky smears, all crossed and lined, He chanted this preposterous refrain:-
"From Drouthyhurst to Dottytown, from Dottytown to Thirstyville. We'll drag the line around the map, and o'er the plain, and up the hill; With here a twist, and there a turn and over here a wide detour. Our claims you have to recognise; our prejudices must endure. From Boodle's run to Foodle's pub our Sacred Rights you must preserve - From Foodle's pub to Doodle's dam, the int'rests of the State to serve; Insanely crawling through the map, and in and out, and to and fro, If you'd propitiate the States, this is the way the line will go."
I seized a pen, in angry haste, And, with a curse, the creature chased From off the map, then looked, and cursed some more. But 'round the corner of the pot The spider peered and said, "What rot! I don't see what you've got to curse me for!
"I will explain, if you'll permit," It said ; but in an angry fit I banged the map and yelled; "Upon my word! You've crossed and lined it back and forth, But one straight line from south to north Does not appear! Your system is absurd!
"Suppose," I said, "invaders came; Here, in the north. How, in the name Of thunder, could we quickly move our troops? How could we rush our army forth Into the unprotected North With all your crazy twists and turns and loops!"
"Good fellow, I have yet to learn That it is any State's concern To meddle with Defence," he made reply. "That is the Commonwealth's lookout; They'll get 'em there. I have no doubt; But, as for us, we've other fish to fry.
"Yet if you really want to know Which way the troops will have to go, Once more I shall be happy to explain." And, as I planned his sudden death, The creature drew a long, deep breath And sang again this maddening refrain:-
"From Drouthyhurst to Dottytown, from Dottytown to Thirstyville. We'll drag the army 'round the map, and o'er the plain, and up the hill; With over here a wide detour, and here a twist, and there a turn; And if they never meet the foe it isn't any state's concern. We'll drag 'em miles and weary miles, from Foodle's pub to Boodle's run; The while the foeman gains the North, without the firing of a gun. From Boodle's run to Doodle's dam, o'er kink and curl and loop and curve. Our int'rests you must recognise, our Sacred Rights you must observe."
Again, all haste I made to grab A pen; this time resolved to stab The loathly insect in some vital spot; But, though with murd'rous aim I hit, 'Twas wasting energy, for it Eluded me and dodged around the pot.
"Aha! You're not the first of men To try to slay me with a pen," It sneered. "They try in vain; I still survive. And now I go to make a league And weave a web of State intrigue That will enmesh you all, if I'm alive."
Then, with another wicked sneer, The creature seemed to disappear. I searched in vain; the thing had vanished quite. And though I laugh, and talk, and think, And go to church. and take to drink, I can't shake off the horrors of that night.
For still that ruined map I've got, All sullied o'er with smear and blot, The sight of which calls forth a frenzied scream. And, since that night, I've counsel sought Of learned men who surely ought To know, but all declare it was a dream.
Yet, when the views of PHILP or WADE, Within the Tory press displayed, Assault mine eyes, I seem to see quite plain That ugly spider, fat and squat, Perched insolently on the pot; I seem to hear again the weird refrain:-
"From Drouthyhurst to Dottytown, from Dottytown to Thirstyville, We'll drag the line around the map, and o'er the plain, and up the hill; With here a kink, and there a curve, and here a needless, wide detour. Our claims you have to recognise; our sacred int'rests must endure. For Boodle has a bit of land, and Foodle has much influence. And Doodles cattle must be trucked, whatever happens to Defence. So down it goes by Snoodle's road, from Snoodle's road to Noodle's Well. Aus-tral-i-an defence be blowed! Austral-i-a may go to Hell!"

The Bulletin, 21 July 1910, p7

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