Poem: How to Write an Australian Novel by Ironbark (Part 2)

   Very aggravating features
   Have these brain-created creatures,
And it's hard to make 'em do the things they ought;
   And to keep 'em in their places,
   And to make 'em show their paces,
Takes a (blanky) lot of patience and of thought.

   Every novelist discovers
   That the management of lovers
Is as hard as breaking milkers to the bail;
   And it's worse than tailin' "weaners,"
   And controlling their demeanors,
To conduct a pair of lovers through a tale.

   When you've made each lover spoony
   On the other, and as loony
As a self-respectin' lover ought to be,
   Why, as author, your vocation
   Is to force a declaration
Of their feelin's for each other -- do you see?

   You can do this at your leisure,
   At your sovereign will and pleasure,
And by any sort of methods you may know;
   Make him ill, and let her nurse him --
   Make her fat old father curse him,
Till the maiden ups and gives away the show.

   Better still, and much more thrilling,
   Set the gallant hero killing,
In her presence, twenty foot of carpet snake;
   Let the "light of battle" glitter
   While he's jabbing at the critter
In a most convincing manner with a stake.

   While the hero's eyes are gleaming
   With the "battle-light," and beaming,
While his raiment with the slaughtered serpent reeks,
   In hysterics growing bolder,
   She should flop upon his shoulder,
In an ecstasy of gratitude and squeaks.

   After that it's easy sailing
   For your goose-quill -- not entailing
Any struggle of an energetic sort;
   While the maiden's mood is melting,
   And while Cupid's drafts are pelting,
You can drag your post-hole digger into port.

   When his luck is just beginning,
   And while Fortune's wheel is spinning,
You can give it half a dozen extra twirls;
   Though despised and under-rated,
   You can prove the bloke's related
To a barrow-load or marquises and earls.

   In the few concluding pages
   Of the novel's later stages
Get the squatter in the clutches of the Bank;
   Have him rescued in the sequel
   By the man who's now his equal --
That's the bloke who sunk his post-holes and his tank.

   Rope the man and maid together,
   And come in out of the weather;
Take a rest, and light your pipe, and ring the bell;
   Give your readers love and passion,
   And, as moral ain't the fashion,
Why, the less you preach, the more your book will sell.

First published in The Bulletin, 4 October 1906

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 29, 2005 9:30 AM.

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