Works in the Herald 1930

The Textile Workers’ Union, complaining that £100,000 worth of hosiery is still being imported into Australia, has asked for more protection.

The legs that twinkle down the street,
Shapely, silk-clad, very sweet,
   Used to distract us in our youth
   Ere brutal economic truth
Led us, by sad and sober ways,
To sober thought of later days.

Now with a cold and callous eye
We mark the legs that twinkle by,
   And in their silken sheen but see
   Political economy.
And reckon as they gaily flash
How much, per leg, we lose in cash.

The politician, dour and grim,
What is the female limb to him?
   His eye is on the costly hose
   And, as the sad deficit grows:
“Imported or Australian made?”
He asks with all his mind on trade.

Now politics have killed romance.
No ankle wins a second glance.
   So, darlings, since the foreign hose
   Have not the lure that you suppose
You might, so far as I can see,
Encourage local industry.

The legs that twinkle down the street,
Tho’ undeniably still neat,
   To man’s stern eye now represent
   A loss of so-and-so per cent.
In solid unaesthetic cash,
Alas, the leg has lost its dash.

Herald, 8 May 1930, p4

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003