The Song of the Wowser Cray by Hal Gye

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I ride no more in the Drunks' Express,
   Where travellers howl and rave;
I lie no more as a nasty mess
   Of scraps on the morning pave;
I don't go home in the dawn's grey light
   With yells and a drunked song;
I take no part in a drunken fight,
   Or anything else that's wrong.

I ride no more in the seaside train,
   With chaps for a gay weekend;
I float no more through the window-pane,
   Which somebody's got to mend;
My claws don't fall on the ladies' hats,
   Nor my tail on someone's knee;
My innards have given up spoiling spats
   Of passengers next to me.

I lie no more in splashes of beer,
   'Mid splinters of broken glass;
I'm followed no more by "Johns" severe,
  Nor warned by curates who pass.
I cause no rows in the Dago shops
   With "blokes on a bonzer spree";
And I don't make Dagoes send for the "cops"
   To settle the price of me.

I don't go home in the black coat-tails
   Of gentlemen slightly tight;
And I don't affront the grim females
   I used to offend at night;
I lie no more on the carpet neat,
   Nor rest on the counterpane;
I do not damage the parler suite
   With my claw or my ribald stain.

I've come to the end of festive night
   And trips in a Drunks' Express;
I won't see any more wondrous sights
   Of the midnight wickedness;
I'll be no more what I used to be,
   For all it's passed away --
The early-closing of pubs, you see,
   Has made me a wowser cray.

First published in The Bulletin, 26 August 1915

Author: Harold Frederick Neville Gye (1887-1967) was born in Ryde, New South Wales, and is primarily known as the illustrator of C.J. Dennis's works such as The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke.  Gye moved to Melbourne with his family at the age of 12 and became a law clerk before finding that he could make a living from his drawing.  He produced work for many magazines such as The Bulletin, The Gadfly, Punch and The Lone Hand as well as numerous newspapers.  He also wrote a number of poems and short stories, mainly published in The Bulletin.  He died in Beaumaris in Victoria in 1967.

Author reference sites:
Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 26, 2012 3:44 PM.

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