Poem: Langwidge by C. J. Dennis

"The flamin' cows!" 'e ses; 'e did, an' worse;
   'Twas 'orrible the langwidge that 'e used.
It made me blood run cold to 'ear 'im curse;
   An' me that taken-back-like an' confused;
   W'ile them poor beasts 'e belted an' abused.
"They couldn't shift," 'e ses, "a blanky 'earse!
                     The flamin' cows!"

"The flamin' cows!" You oughter 'eard 'im curse.
   You would a bin that shocked. . . . An' the idear!
'Im usin' such remarks about a 'earse;
   An' 'is own brother buried not a year.
   "Not move a blanky 'earee!" 'e ses. My dear,
You 'ardly could imagine langwidge worse.
                     "The flamin' cows!"

"The flamin' cows!" Wot would the parson say?
   An' 'im so friendly-like with 'im an' 'er.
I pity 'er; I do, 'cos, in 'er way.
   She is respectable. But 'i! It's fur
   From me, as you well know, to cast a slur,
On anyone; but wot I 'eard that day. . . .
                     "The flamin' cows!"

"The flamin' cows!" I know quite well that we
   Ain't wot you'd call thin-skinned; and nasty pride
Is wot I never 'ad.... But 'er! ... W'y she --
   She's allus that stuck-up an' full o' side;
   A sorter thing I never could abide.
An' all the time 'er 'usband.... Goodness me!
                     "The flamin' cows!"

"The flamin' cows!" O' course 'e never knowed
   That I was list'nin' to 'im all the w'ile.
'E muster bin a full hour on the road;
   An', Lord, you could 'a' 'eard 'im for a mile.
   Jes' cos they stuck 'im in that boggy sile:
"If they ain't blanky swine," 'e ses, "I'm blowed!
                     The flamin' cows!"

"The flamin' cows!" W'y, if it 'ad occurred,
   An' me not 'eard, I'd 'ardly think it true.
An', you know well, I wouldn't breathe a word
   Against a livin' soul, I don't care 'oo;
   Not if the Queen of Hingland arst me to.
But, oh! that langwidge! If you only 'eard!
                     "The flamin' cows!"

"The flamin' cows!" 'e ses, an' more besides.
   An' fancy! 'Im! To think that 'e would swear!
W'y "Blarst!" 'e sez... Yes! "Blarst the'r blanky 'ides!"
   (Oh, you may well throw up your 'ands an' stare!)
   Yes - "Blarst," 'e ses, "the'r blanky 'ides an' 'air!
I'll out the blanky skin off er the'r sides!
                     The flamin' cows!"

First published in The Bulletin, 22 July 1909

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 17, 2010 9:09 AM.

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