Works in the Bulletin 1912

Prison reform - Mr. Murray's views - Prisoners should be made to hustle. - Vic. / headings

I can conceive no heav'nly bliss
More perfectly complete than this:
   To sit and smoke and idly chew
   Reflection's cud, with nought to do.
This is, in my pet social plan,
The right of ev'ry honest man.

I can conceive no punishment For wicked men of evil bent, Who cheat and lie and drink and rob, More meet than giving them a job. This is, to my unruffled mind, Correction of the sternest kind.
I can conceive a world, in dreams; A happy, restful world it seems; A wise, well-ordered globe wherein Men toil to expiate a sin, While harmless and right-thinking folk Have nought to do but sit and smoke.
I ask but to be left alone; And let the wicked man atone In graft for having energy To sin against society. For, clearly, I commit no crime, Since I do nothing all the time.
Sins of omssion, you will see, Don't count in my philosophy And it is safer far to shirk, Lest, working, one might find more work. No man is able to foresee The far effects of energy.
But in this thoughtless, restless age What honor is there for the sage? When Philistines, in manner rude, Disturb my sleepy solitude, Where in my peaceful bower I lurk, And coarsely shout at me: "Get work!"

The Bulletin, 7 March 1912, p16

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002