Tar and Feathers by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

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      Oh! the circus swooped down
      On the Narrabri town,
For the Narrabri populace moneyed are;
      And the showman he smiled
      At the folk he beguiled
To come all the distance from Gunnedah.

      But a juvenile smart,
      Who objected to "part",
Went in "on the nod", and to do it he
      Crawled in through a crack
      In the tent at the back,
For the boy had no slight ingenuity.

      And says he with a grin,
      "That's the way to get in;
But I reckon I'd better be quiet or
      They'll spiflicate me,"
      And he chuckled, for he
Had the loan of the circus proprietor.

      But the showman astute
      On that wily galoot
Soon dropped, and you'll say that he leathered him --
      Not he; with a grim
      Sort of humorous whim,
He took him and tarred him and feathered him.

      Says he, "You can go
      Round the world with a show,
And knock every Injun and Arab wry;
      With your name and your trade,
      On the posters displayed,
The feathered what-is-it from Narrabri."

      Next day for his freak,
      By a Narrabri beak,
He was jawed with a deal of verbosity;
      For his only appeal
      Was "professional zeal" --
He wanted another monstrosity.

      Said his worship, "Begob!
      You are fined forty bob,
And six shillin's costs to the clurk!" he says.
      And the Narrabri joy,
      Half bird and half boy,
Has a "down" on himself and on circuses.

First published in The Bulletin, 21 September 1889;
and later in
Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses by A.B. Paterson, 1902;
The Collected Verse of A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1982;
Singer of the Bush, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1885-1900 compiled by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983; and
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990;

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 21, 2012 8:49 AM.

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