When Thomas Spoke by C.J. Dennis

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["I intend to raise my voice in protest throughout the State." - Bent, on the Braddon Blot.]

"What's happened here!" the stranger said:
"Is all the population dead?
What awful desolation this!
Why, man, whatever is amiss?
Has there been pestilence or war?"
"No," said the native.  "Nothin' more
         Than Tommy's jor."

"But," cried the stranger: "look at these --
These ruined buildings, blasted trees,
Uprooted fences, railway lines,
All torn and twisted, and the mines
Caved in!  Why, man, you surely joke."
"Aw," said the native.  "Just a bloke
         Named Bent has spoke."

"Tut," said the stranger.  "Tell me not
That one man's voice has caused the lot.
Why, man, your statement can't be true,
The bloomin' landscape's all askew,
There's been an earthquake in the land."
"No, he's a politician and" --
The stranger smiled and waved his hand --
         "I understand."

"He said he'd raise his voice -- no kid,"
The native said: "An' 'struth he did
I never knew his likes -- that chap,
He's been an' changed the blessed map.
No place is where it used to be --
         Geelong's at sea;

"An' Melbourne's up at Bendigo.
Where Bendigo is I don't know;
St. Kilda's blowed to Ballarat,
An' Toorak's further off than that:
Warracknabeal's right off the slate --
         Out of the State.

"An' Kyabram has done a get.
They're lookin' for the Yarra yet,
An' Tommy Bent, the bloke that spoke
(This is the best part of the joke),
He didn't count on the rebound:
Now, spare me days, he can't be found --
         We hopes he's drowned."

First published in The Gadfly, 9 May 1906

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 9, 2013 6:46 AM.

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