Works in the Herald 1934

A new and strange vanity has surely been awakened in the chastened Australian male (so inured to criticism) by the recent declaration by Mrs Ralph Munn, arts graduate of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., that Australian men are usually tall, dark and handsome.

Some of us may be tall, ma'am;
   Some of us may be dark;
Some handsome; tho' not all, ma'am,
   Are touched by Beatury's spark.
But tall, and dark AND handsome, too?
   Oh, lady!  If you please! .. .. .. .. 
It's really very nice of you;
But do you think they're really due --
   Superlatives like these?

We'd hate to doubt your word, ma'am,
   Since you're informed in art,
Tho' much we'd have preferred, ma'am,
   To play a humbler part.
But in meek deference to you,
   Well, lady, we'll admit
We're tall and dark, and handsome, too,
It seems a rather boastful view,
   But one gets used to it.

And now we're getting used, ma'am,
   To thoughts that flattery brings,
You might well be induced ma'am,
   To say some more nice things.
Are there not moral qualities,
   Innate in each rare male,
That one of your discernment sees --
Truth, strength, wit, wisdom -- things like these?
   Speak, ma'am.  Let truth prevail.

We're so unused to praise, ma'am,
   So used to blame most dire,
That flattery these days, ma'am,
   Creates a new desire.
A complex quite inferior
   (See Freud) its sickly hue
Cast o'er us.  But if you'd say more
Along such lines -- why, then, Encore!..
   Thanks, ma'am.  The same to you.

Herald, 18 July 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-04