Pastor McTavish and Elder McPhail by W. T. Goodge

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Dunreekie, a town of some little fame
   Is neither teetotal not sottish.
Its people, as you would conclude from the name,
   Are largely (and stolidly) Scottish.
And nothing more Scottish you've met, I'll go bail,
Than Pastor McTavish and Elder McPhail.

The new Liquor Act required caution and tact,
   And made Sunday-trading more risky,
But don't think Dunreekie, because of this fact,
   Went short of its Sabbath-day whisky!
"'Tis fearsome, ye ken, an' a sight tae bewail!"
Said Pastor McTavish to Elder McPhail.

Now, Elder McPhail, though an excellent man,
   Had liking for "jist a wee drappie";
Aye, e'en on the Sabbath ere service began
   A "dram i' th' morn" made him happy!
Which caused a suspicion of frost to prevail
'Twixt Pastor McTavish and Elder McPhail!

"It's jist the example ye're settin', ye ken,"
   The Pastor remarked to the Elder.
"The mistress declares ye're misleading the men;
   Or so the guid wives o' them telled her.
An Elder o' kirk ought to never be frail,"
Said Pastor McTavish to Elder McPhail.

"I'll no' say ye're wrang tae tak' whuskey the day;
   'Tis jist for the sake o' example!
Ye micht get eneuch on a Saturday, say,
   That maybe ye'd find tae be ample.
A quart on a saturday nicht should avail!
Said Pastor McTavish to Elder McPhail.

"Losh, mon!" cried the Elder, "'tis haverin' a'!
   The Lord haud ye safe in his keepin'!
Wi' a quart o' guid whuskey beside o' him, wha
   The Deil dae ye think was be sleepin'?
It couldna be done, mon! Giver over yer tale!
Ye're daft for a Pastor!" said Elder McPhail.

First published in The Bulletin, 6 January 1910

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 6, 2012 8:57 AM.

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