Works in the Herald 1933

The Turkish republic is now celebrating the 10th anniversary of its foundation. Its founder and reformer Mustapha Kemal Pasha, who fought against the Anzacs at Gallipoli, is spoken of by General Sir Harry Chauvel as a very great man.

We have heard of the mythical lands of the East
   And of caliphs and sultans galore;
Of Haroun al Raschid, of Abdul the beast,
   And dark deeds by the Bosphorous shore.
But the picture we knew fades completely from view,
   When we glimpse modern wonders that are
In the wonderful land of the greatest of Turks --
   Of Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
With a wave of his hand he has altered his land
   From a fabulous country and strange
To an organised State wide-awake, up to date;
   And he's made them content with the change.
Bastinado and bow-strings, and bodies in bags,
   And the flash of the sharp scimitar
Are but memories dim, since they learned pep and vim
   From Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
No magician of old ever dared to unfold
   Such a box of tricks and strange spells.
To the joy of the males he has banished the veils
   From the faces of Bosphorous belles.
Now with lip-stick and shingle they joyfully mingle
   With crowds in the modern bazaar,
Whilst straw-hatted young bloods, in swish tailor-made duds,
   Swear by Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
Cross-legged on a couch, cross-grained with a grouch
   Old die-hards smoke hookahs and glower,
As they sigh for the days of the fez and old ways
   With harems and intrigues in flower;
But the light-hearted lads give the bird to their dads,
   While they puff at a fag or cigar;
To have all their trust, as Mustapha must,
   Must gladden Mustapha Pasha.

Herald, 1 November 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002