Works in the Herald 1922
IN THE DOLDRUMS
Have you, too, noticed that calm which descends
Upon affairs today?
Search as we may,
The papers have few things indeed to say
Of even world affairs, and, as to local,
Why, they are hardly vocal.
They even lack news of diverting crimes.
These be dull times.
Even the seething world of politics
Where factions mix,
And cause, most days, at least some mild commotion,
Seem like a placid ocean --
Like some blue tropic sea, peaceful and calm.
Floored with pink coral, fringed by wavy palm,
Where all is gentleness and holy calm...
Talking of topics, even Mister Hughes
Seems, in these days, steadfastly to refuse
To air his views.
Nay, he will not
Even refer to Mister Watt.
Eh, he is far too mild.
And, friends, I fear me that we are beguiled
By this strange calm, this seeming peace, this bliss.
My friends, I -- don't -- like -- this!
In the not too greatly distant yore
I've seen it all before.
And I, my friends,
Know well what it portends.
The silent politicians, friends, are scheming
While we are dozing, dreaming.
Seeming to rest from labor, they are busy
Thinking until their mighty brains grow dizzy
For why, my friends, elections darkly loom
Large in the middle-distance, and gaunt Doom
Looks down upon them, poised to spring like winking
Unless they do some stern and solid thnking . . .
And does the politician think these days of us,
Who seem so precious to him when the fuss
And fret of mad campaigning wring his withers
What time he blithers
Loud of intelligent electors? Yes;
I must confess
He thinks of us; but never quite
As sentient beings yearning for the light;
For, friends, he dotes
Ever on votes.
And, truly, as it was in the beginning
(No matter which side happens to be winning)
'Tis now, and ever will be just the same.
And we shall still be mere pawns in the game . . .
Voters! For goodness sake,
It's up to you
Some really serious thinking too.
I don't care on which side you mean to vote
Peel off the coat!
You may do wonders if you will take heed)
Or else -- I say it with reluctant lips --
Remain, as hitherto, just poker chips.
The Mooch of Life
"C. J. Dennis"
Herald, 17 May 1922, p6