Works in the Herald 1937

In its recently released annual report the Victorian Licensing Court announces with satisfaction that hotel-keepers now realise that efficient service to the public is the basis of commercial success.

Goodbye to the old bush shanty
   With the sawdust on the floor,
Where the "boss" in shirt sleeves scanty
   Lounged by the bar-room door,
Where the drinks were warm and heady
And the meals were rough and ready
And the "boys," on feet unsteady,
   Rolled up to "have one more";
And the hungry traveller met the scoff
Of the kitchen slattern: "Meals is off!"

Goodbye to the ancient beer-shop.
   Farewell to the old bush pub,
A boozing ken and a queer shop
   Where they gave small heed to "grub";
Storied in song and fable;
Where the flies swarmed in from the stable,
And the slave of the ill-found table --
   That slippered kitchen drub --
Intoned in strains of hopeless grief:
"Wattle you 'ave? There's cole corn-beef."

For a new house stands in the clearing
   With a host, keen and alert,
In place of the lounger sneering
   At "toffs," in his beer-stained shirt,
And a waitress, trim of pattern,
Has outsed the gloomy slattern;
And nobody grieves at that turn;
   For they've said farewell to dirt,
Corn-beef is "off," and the boozer barred
Where the bowser stands by the stable-yard.

There are few to mourn its going,
   Or claim romance has fled
Since the "stingo" ceased from flowing
   In the bar in the old bark shed,
When the boss "lambed-down" the shearer
In a deadlier day and drearer;
For a kindler age draws nearer,
   And the old bush shanty's dead,
And motors glide where the swagman strode
And the bullocky cursed down the dusty road.

Herald, 8 March 1937, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2006-07