The Silent Toast by C.J. Dennis

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Mr. Murray facetiously protested against the practice of toasting Parliament at every public function...."I would like all societies to think," said the Premier, "whether it would not be better always to have this toast drunk like that of his Majesty, or in silence, solemnly and with melancholy, like that of a memory." - Daily paper.

With melancholy mien, stand up!
   With sad eyes downward bent,
All solemnly come drink with me
   Unto "Our Parliament."
Not to the present crowd I ween,
But to "A House that Might Have Been."

In silence charge your glasses all,
   Your brows o'ercast with gloom;
I bid you toast a vanished host
   Now mould'ring in the tomb.
I pledge a mournful memory -
   "The patriots who used to be."

I give you "MURRAY, Democrat" --
   A memory.  Stand up!
Strict silence keep; drink long and deep,
   And drain the bitter cup.
I give JACK MURRAY, staunch and game,
Who lived before JOHN WEARY came.

I pledge "The Men who used to be"
   Ere Coalition came;
Before they turned and meekly learned
   To play the Fusion game:
The game, with all its wiles and tricks,
Of grab-all party politics.

I give you DEAKIN.... Bow your heads!
   I give you him that led
And held wide sway but yesterday,
   Yet now is Fused and dead:
The man whose patriotic views
Are scarcely cold - slain by a Fuse.

The KIDSTON of pre-Fusion days --
   I pledge in silence deep
That pioneer of yesteryear;
   Now he lies fast asleep
Within a Tory-fashioned tomb,
For Fusion marked him out for doom.

All solemnly I rise again
   And toast "The Other PEAKE";
That democrat who'd shudder at
   An act so poor and weak
As Fusing with his one-time foes
For office.  Calm be his repose!

In silence drink; your glasses clink.
   I pledge a memory;
I give the toast of that lost host,
   The men who used to be.
All mournfully your glasses raise:
"To Liberals of other days."

First published in The Bulletin, 21 April 1910

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 21, 2013 6:59 AM.

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