Poem: Ballad of the Ban by C. J. Dennis

ln recent weeks, though most other civilised countries admit them freely, Australian political and bureaucratic censors have banned world famous plays, films, books, and now, a British-born woman whom Britain herself has no power, or desire, to exclude.

Tho' censorious sages, in fierce moral rages
On History's pages press, heavy of hand;
When it comes to suppressin' we are, we're confessin'
A boon an' a blessin' to this pious land.
A Savonarola, a Cromwell, whose mole a
Poor artist saved whole, a Comstock or a Knox--
These were hefty joy-biffers; but, classed as sin-sniffers
Our temp'rament differs. We're out of the box!

We're pure politicians; we feels our positions;
We feels that conditions in this 'oly land
Is clean, if bucolic. All frivolous frolic,
All views vitriolic, if furrin' is banned.
Tho' merely elected, we feels we're expected,
When sin is detected approaching our shore,
To sieze it an' sock it; before they can dock it
We ruthlessly lock it outside of our door.

With horror we're smitten when Britain, admittln'
The stuff that is written by sin-sodden blokes,
Condones evil-livers. It gives us the shivers;
Our righteousness quivers to hark at their jokes.
They falsely befriend us an' seek for to send us
Them works wot would end us in dreadful desire.
Tho' we scarce understand 'em, ere ever they lan's 'em
We scans 'em an' bans 'em an' burns 'em with fire.

Tho' tardy at dealin' with evils revealin'
The need for appealin' to local reform,
We're apt to get winkin' an' bashfully shrinkin'
When critics unthinkin' starts raisin' a storm.
We're good at forgettin' that murder an' sweatin'
An' startin'-price bettin' leaves much to be done.
The land may be swimmin' in sin over- brimmin' ...
But books, plays an' wimmin', we bans 'em like fun.

We bans 'em! We bars 'em ere ever they lan's 'em.
Then, "CENSORED!" we bran's 'em. An' dooty is done.

First published in The Herald, 13 November 1936

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 3, 2010 9:31 AM.

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