Although we're quite respectable, And virtuous, and old, We love a lie, delectable, If it's discreetly told. A libel that is hot with spite Affords us infinite delight. But, oh! the Law's severity Holds as an iron band; It curbs our wild temerity, And stays our dauntless hand. Much defamation we would dare, But Damages make us forbear. Our duty to society Is ever in our mind; We stand for strict propriety - For fear we should be fined. We keep our sheet from libels free Because it pays us best, you see. We ever strive to stimulate An arctic air of probity, And virtues oft we fabricate From nauseous necessity; The pen is greater than the sword - But Costs are things we can't afford.
First published in The Bulletin, 13 May 1915