The Castlemaine Pub by Max A.

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(It was stated at a recent deputation to Mr. Bent that in Castlemaine there was estimated to
be one hotel for every 32 persons-after making allowance for total abstainers.)

We come with a thirst from our labour,
   And townwards we hurry abreast,
Each leans on his bibulous neighbour,
   And orders a quart of the best;
The bar where the landlord stands stolid
   Is our playground, our home and our club;
You've got to drink steady and solid,
   With thirty-two men to a pub.

Each night in the worship of Bacchus
   We twist the vine leaves in our hair;
Teetotallers taunt and attack us --
   So we drink the teetotallers' share.
We hear not the Rechabites' chidings,
   The Good Templar a dullard we dub;
There's no time for disputes and deridings,
   With thirty-two men to the pub.

Oh, the beer, in its bubbling, brown beauty!
   Oh, the gin, in the jolly jug pent!
Should one of us fail in his duty,
   Then our host would be short in his rent.
Should one of us turn to sobriety,
   His children would starve -- there's the rub,
It's a duty we owe to society,
   We thirty-two men in the pub.

So we cling to the counter unceasing
   (Save on days when we stand in the courts),
And our power to absorb is increasing,
   We drink gallons where once we drank quarts.
We are thirty-two heroes, and we all
   Are braver than when we began;
For we struggle towards the ideal
   Of thirty-two pubs to a man.

First published in Melbourne Punch, 5 April 1906

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 5, 2011 8:50 AM.

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