The Sheet Anchor by C.J. Dennis

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What Mr. Tilley Brown said in Indi, a day or two ago, most of his Fusionist friends are saying everywhere.  They distrust the Federation, he says, and "look upon the State Parliaments, with their Legislative Councils, as the sheet anchor of the people's safety."  In that one sentence the whole murder is out.  The State Rights party distrusts the Federation, it trusts the States, and in this financial agreement it is selling the Federation to the States. - Melbourne AGE.

O, ye thoughtful fellow-voters, have ye ever stayed to ponder
On the thing that stops us drifting to the Doom that waits us yonder -
Stops us whirling fast and faster
To political disaster?
Have ye thuswise contemplated?
Have ye wisely cogitated
On the danger-light ahead
Shining out a warning red;
On the hand that holds us back
When we'd tread a downward track?
(Metaphor?  Though we abuse it,
Such a subject must excuse it.)
Do ye know what saves us from the Doom that's lurking on the mat?
'Tis the trusty, old Sheet Anchor of Reactionary Fat.

O, great Legislative Councils!  Think, my brothers, how they've served us.
Yea, behold the fate from which the Noble Landlord has preserved us.
While we lay abed at night
He has carried on the fight.
When the House is sitting late,
There he watches o'er our fate.
While the wild-eyed Labor man
Weaves some visionary plan.
Wrapt in contemplation deep
He sits in the House -- asleep,
With his hands across his middle;
Wakes to murmur "Fiddle-diddle!"
Then drops off again to snooze
While wild Democrats abuse;
And they talk and howl and storm,
Prate of "Justice" and "Reform."
Spite of Socialistic roars,
Still he sleeps and gently snores.
Then, when bells ring for division, see him rouse and proudly go
O'er the floor, brave old Sheet Anchor, there to voice a loud, mad "No!"

Can ye even faintly picture what our fate would be, my brothers,
But for that most Honorable Mister Toryphat and others --
He and others of his kidney
(Also liver), up at Sydney,
Ad'laide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth?
They, the salt of all the earth,
Have preserved us from the curse
Of too much content, or worse;
Saved our great estates from bursting,
And defied the crowd that's thirsting
Ev'ry system to upend,
And the Social Fabric rend.
Noble Anchors, it is they
Who hold off that dreadful day
When the Socialistic band
Ravages our native land,
And with wild, exultant cries
Scotches Private Enterprise.
They, the saviors of the race,
Keep the worker in his place,
Ever teaching him that he
Is a Briton, brave and free.
Free to work and free to live
On whate'er his masters give;
It is they, and they alone,
Save the Hempire and the throne.
Think of how they flap the flags
When our sense of duty sags.
Hear them, as they voice aloud
Views of our "Right Thinking" crowd,
And uphold, with holy glee,
Sacred rights of Propertee.
Brave Sheet Anchors!  Holding ever
When the straining ship would sever
Chain and cable, and drift out
To the rocks we're told about -
Horrid rocks that loom ahead,
Filling "Proper Folk" with dread.
Be ye humble, O, my brothers, for the honor of the race,
And salute the Great Sheet Anchor that has kept us in our place.

First published in The Bulletin, 31 March 1910

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 31, 2013 6:25 AM.

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