Works in the Herald 1931

Hold-up burglaries and banditry have become almost daily occurrences in Melbourne. Meantime, a police authority offers a reassuring remark that if the criminals are given enough rope they will inevitably hang themselves in the end.

There’s a bandit with a blunderbuss who loiters in the lane;
There’s a robber with a rifle down the road;
There are thieves and thugs in dozens,
And their cobbers and their cousins,
Who’ve designs upon my person and abode.
There are gunmen in the garden, who, if given rope enough,
Will snare themselves, they say, beyond all hope.
Just a bit more theft and killing,
And they’ll make the game too willing;
And in the meantime – who supplies the rope?

I am full of civic spirit, and the public duty’s plain, And to know the law’s alert is very nice; But it’s useless my dissembling, That I feel a nervous trembling When I think I might be the sacrifice! For I’d hate to be a bit of cheese to bait a burglar trap, Or a target for a gunman full of dope; Though I’m keen on law and order, I am neither cop nor warder, And I certainly decline to be the rope!

Herald, 31 October 1931, p8

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003