A Peaceable Man. (As Told to the Bench) by C.J. Dennis

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"Lay orf it!" I sez to 'im.  "Bodyline bowlin'?" ...
I'm a peaceable cove.  But to see 'is eyes rollin',
To 'ark at 'im pratin'
An' gistickillatin',
To 'ark at 'im 'oller
An' splutter an' swaller
'Is great Adam's apple,
To look at 'im grapple
For 'andfuls of air like a preacher in chapel,
It 'ad me fair grinnin' . . . .
"Don't matter 'oo's winnin',"
I sez to 'im gentle.  "Right from the beginnin'
I'm peaceable; see?  An' tho' cricket I foller,
An' barrack an' 'oller,
You don't see me gettin' 'ot under the collar
An' seekin' to quarrel
Concernin' no moral
Or physical aspects.  It's only a game.
I'm a peaceable man; an' I'm wise to the same.
It's me objeck an' aim
To git slingin' no blame,
Nor compliments neither;
I don't deal in either.
I'm peaceable.  Get me?"  I sez to 'im quiet.
"An' body-line bowlin' don't injer me diet
Or trouble me sleepin',
I jist keep on keepin'
Quite mum.  It's a game; an' if Jardine or Wyatt
Wants body line bowlin' they're welcome to try it.
I don't say it's right, an' I don't say it's wrong.
I jist goes along --
An' me language ain't strong --
In me peaceable way.  An' I'm neither disputin'
A thing that you say, or agreein'.  Refutin'
I ain't; or advisin',
I ain't criticisin',
Inferrin', imputin', admirin', despisin',
Or nothink.  Lay orf it, I ain't interested.
Lay orf, till you git all the true facks digested" . . . 
But 'e won't lay orf.  So I quietly backs 'im
Close up the the gutter.  "Now, look," I sez.  "'Paxim."
That's Latin for 'peace'; an' it's alwiz me maxim.
"Lay orf it, good feller,
It's no use to beller" ....
But 'e still don't lay orf ... So I ups, an' I cracks 'im.

First published in The Herald, 26 January 1933

Note: this poem refers to the Bodyline controversy that arose during the MCC Test cricket tour of Australia in 1932/33.  The "Jardine" mentioned is Douglas Jardine, who was the visiting captain on that tour, and "Wyatt" is Bob Wyatt, who was vice-captain.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 26, 2013 9:40 AM.

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