Poem: Mr. Fillemupagain by Creeve Roe (Victor Daley)

When you first come to the city
   With a seething rural brain,
And are just a little witty,
   And, though verdant, not too vain --
You will meet a jovial fellow,
   With a beaming smile and bland,
Who will state, in accents mellow,
   That he's proud to shake your hand.

      He will ask you, then, to test
      Any drink you fancy best,
And if times are very flush with him he'll treat you to champagne,
      He will fill you, good and square,
      To the tap-roots of your hair --
For a free and festive soul is Mr. Fillemupagain.

He will stand in pose dramatic,
   Like a histrionic star,
And remark in tones emphatic,
   Which will echo through the bar,
That he's read your Book of Verses,
   Which he knows will bring you fame...
You'll imbibe your drink with curses,
   But you'll listen all the same.

      You will see him everywhere.
      He has always time to spare.
You will meet him on the Block, and in the most secluded lane.
      You are bound to strike him, too,
      At each musical shivoo --
For a plentiful old bird is Mr. Fillemupagain.

Grown familiar then, and bolder,
   He will talk till all is blue;
And, while weeping on your shoulder,
   He will quote your verse to you;
Till you wish that ere you'd written
   Rhymes, in idle moments bred,
You had been by someone smitten
   With a hammer on the head.

      But he doesn't care a rap,
      And calls you "Dear old chap!"
And defies the crowd to name a Bard, in colored print of plain,
      Who is fit to lace the shoes
      Of your shovel-footed Muse --
Oh, a gushing, slushing friend is Mr. Fillemupagain!

Young Bush Genius, pray take warning,
   And, when you behold him -- flee!
If you do not, some fine morning,
   On the road to Waverley,
He will -- when your hearse draws level
   With his pub -- say, with a wink,
"Yes, I knew him well, poor devil:
   He destroyed himself with drink."

      He admires your writings much;
      And your fine poetic touch
Makes the Toohey tears run down his nose in sentimental rain;
      But when cold you lie and dumb,
      He will say you wrote on Rum,
For a Fiend disguised in Fat is Mr. Fillemupagain.

First published in The Bulletin, 10 June 1899
[In the last stanza above, "Toohey" refers to the Sydney brewery.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 27, 2008 8:05 AM.

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