Works in the Herald 1935
Long John McDougal, the wax-end and leather man,
   Solon of the main street, full of curious lore,
Keen-eyed and frugal, politician, weather man,
   Pegging there, or stitching by his shop front door;
Keen-eyed and frugal, Long John McDougal
   Talked as he toiled there, or harked to others' woes,
With his tousled old grey head and steel-rimmed spectacles,
   His old steel spectacles perched on the end of his nose.

Long John the leather man: boots, bridles any a thing
   Fashioned out of leather, could his wise hands mend.
"Cease your foolish blether, man!  For I have cobbled many a thing --
   Cobbled it and cured it wi' me strong wax-end.
Cease your foolish blether, man.  'Tis Long John, the leather man
   Has shod the feet of half the town, an' no complaints from those."
And his old head would waggle and his steel-rimmed spectacles --
   His smeared old spectacles perched on the end of his nose.

Long John, the cobbler, sets aside his sowing owl,
   Sets aside his apron and gives his hands a rub,
And trots off for his nobbler, just as he has been going all
   These long years for his whisky at the Railway pub.
Long John, the cobbler, calling for his nobbler:
  "One I'll tak', or two I'll tak', but I'm content wi' those."
And he gazes e'er so wisely thro' his steel-rimmed spectacles --
   His bent old spectacles perched on the tip of his nose.

Long John McDougal sat to have a crack there,
   Just within his shop door the day I left the town,
Keen-eyed and frugal.   And if I ever went back there
   I know I'd find him fadeless, his wise law laying down --
Kind-eyed and frugal, Long John McDougal,
   Spouting weather prophesies, downing fiscal foes,
Peering, with his head back, thro' grime-dimmed spectacles --
   His old steel spectacles perched on the tip of his nose.

Herald, 18 March 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003