Works in the Bulletin 1912

The deputy-leader of the Opposition (Mr. Joseph Cook) mellows as time goes by. - Melbourne AGE.

When the Laborites and Liberals are bickering,
   Are a-calling and a-bawling in the House,
And the strangers in the gallery are snickering,
   As the members rear on end and loudly "rouse,"
There's a voice they miss amid the vocal thundering,
   A voice that led the howl a while ago.
And the people in the precincts are a-wondering
   What has happened to the erstwhile acid Joe.

For no longer does he lead his noisy following With a cheering or a sneering to the fray; But they watch him sitting silently a-swallowing All the gibes they hurl at him across the way. And, as others mark his silence 'mid the bellowing And the bawling of the blatant party cry, Then they realise that Joseph is a-mellowing; He's a-mellowing as time goes by.
When the Affable's a-sobbing and a-sorrowing O'er the "precipices," "chasms" and the "brinks," And the Ministry's antipathy to borrowing, Joseph mellows as he sits and sadly thinks. Sits and mellows 'mid the bellows of his following, While the howls of Willy Kelly smite his ear, While the Fusion in confusion is a-wallowing And the green, unripened members bawl "Hear, hear!"
There is something that is sobering and saddening, In the autumn of political careers; And the thoughts of former verdancy are maddening As a member mellows with the passing years. For his greenness and his meanness set him shivering; And he solemnly begins to ask himself, As he feels the tree political a-quivering: "Will I ripen on the bough or on the shelf?"
But the verdancy of Joseph is a-vanishing, Whereat right-thinking citizens rejoice. All his sourness and his dourness he is banishing; You may note the alteration in his voice. Though it is not yet attuned to softest 'cello-ing, 'Twill be sweeter, meeker music by-and-bye: For 'tis evident that Joseph is a-mellowing, He's a-mellowing as time goes by.

The Bulletin, 25 July 1912, p16

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-03