McNulty by W.T. Goodge

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What McNulty? Strike me purple! He was champion of the West,
Where the gentle art of cursing has achieved its very best.
You can talk about Maginnis and O'Hara and the rest --
   But they couldn't hold a candle to McNulty!

Now THE BULLETIN may have a hide as tough as e'er a mule's,
But it couldn't print his language 'cause it wouldn't have the tools;
It would use up all the brackets, "startlers", stars and metal-rules
   For to punctuate the language of McNulty!

When McNulty came up country he went out to Seven-wire
Where he got a job at hauling logs from hungry McIntyre
(Him as wouldn't work on Sunday if his homestead was a-fire!).
   He could drive a team of bullocks, could McNulty.

But McIntyre's old bullocks they were hungry as was he;
Like them lean and lanky cattle in the Bible yarn, may be.
Anyway, they wouldn't pull a log and 'twas a sight to see
   How they shivered at the language of McNulty?

"Why the (blank dashed parenthesis) and (starred ellipsis) hell
Don't you pull? You sons of (asterisks)!" and here his accents fell.
"Call yerselves a team of bullocks? Workin' bullocks, do yer? Well,
   You're a mob of (blanky) cows!" exclaimed McNulty.

At this gross and brutal insult every bullock gave a heave,
And they hauled that blessed log out just as Mac. had turned to leave.
"I'm a champion ox-persuader, with some notions up my sleeve,
   And I knows the power o' language!" said McNulty.

But M'Nulty went to Sydney, where he drove a parcels van,
And the suburbs got to know just like Coonabarabran.
Took a load of apples over to a North Shore grocer man:
   'Twas the only time that language failed M'Nulty!

You must know "the Shore,' how steep it is; you've climbed the hills, no doubt?
Well, M'Nulty led his horse up; there were plenty folks about;
And the blessed tail-board came unfixed, and let them apples out --
   A catastrophe unnoticed by M'Nulty!

But a crowd was there a-waiting on the summit of the hill
In the hope of hearing language that would make 'em fairly thrill.
When McNulty found what happened for a second he stood still:
   "Please excuse me, gents and ladies," said McNulty,

"I'm the famed McNulty, of the Castlereagh, no less,
And I am a champion swearer -- but I candidly confess
That I can find NO language was would properly express
   What my feelin's is this minute!" said McNulty.

First published in The Bulletin, 9 September 1899

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Poetry Library

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 9, 2012 8:53 AM.

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