Works in the Herald 1931

Yesterday a speaker at the W.C.T.U. convention declared that few people seemed to be aware of the influence upon morals by the filthy habit of tobacco using. When acquired early it aroused the passions and converted pure youth into a veritable volcano of lust.

O evil ancient, whose bland brow gives sign
   Of none of that smoke-blackened vice within.
Whose venerable face and air benign
   Cloaks from a trusting world your hideous sin;
Men call you kindly, simple, free of guile,
   Content; but well I know you play a part,
Sucking so calmly at that briar vile,
   To draw depravity to your black heart.

You seem so mild, so peaceful, sitting there, Mellowed by wisdom, sanctified by truth, With gaze benevolent and snow-white hair. You hoary hypocrite, you’ve smoked since youth! Smoked daily, heaping sin on reeking sin, Whiskered, iniquity, beware, beware! When your volcanic vice has done you in, And you go hence, you’ll still be smoking, there.

Herald, 13 November 1931, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003