Poem: The Demoralising Effect of the Ostrich Habit by Foe

He never realised what the British command of the sea really meant until he engaged in that trip. - "Doctor" Ward, of Sydney Telegraph

The greatest editor is he
   Who trains each thinking cell,
So that he sees when he should see --
   When all the facts fit well.

The wisest editor you'll find,
   Of all the thinking throng
Is he who goes extremely blind
   When all the facts are wrong.

Now he who props a falling cause
   Like Freetrade, I surmise,
And is a medico of laws
   Must be both great and wise.

Therefore, he sees when all is well,
   And doesn't when it's not,
Because he's trained each thinking cell
   For sense or simple rot.

Self-hypnotised, he proves at will
   That black is virgin white;
Long years he practises until
   He comes to think he's right.

Then all is well; his agile brain
   O'er rocky places vaults;
And, if he would come back again,
   He lightly somersaults.

But turning Reason inside out --
   Rightly the sport of Youth --
Brings on short-sightedness and doubt
   And mars the hunt for Truth.

The fact long balanced on its head
   Is difficult to place
When you require the thing instead
   To look well on its base.

And facts seem hardly facts at all
   When many you have blinked,
And said the writing on the wall
   Was wrong -- or indistinct.

Then plain statistics in a row
   Convey no picture true;
Romance lives in each folio
   Of ev'ry book of blue.

To be "impressed" -- to "realise,"
   'Tis necessary then
To gaze on things with startled eyes,
   And peer and gaze again.

Then home you come with knowledge packed,
   And serve out from your store,
With pride and joy, some simple fact
   That all men knew before.

First published in The Bulletin, 23 September 1909

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 28, 2009 8:54 AM.

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