Father Jim by C.J. Dennis

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We ain't much shook on parsons up on the Wareo;
But, fer a parson, Father Jim's the whitest man I know.
'E works around the stations, and without no fuss or noise,
'E sorter gains the confidence of nearly all the boys.
'E's got no sniv'lin', cantin' ways or 'abits of that kind,
But ups and lets you know straight out jus' wot 'e 'as in mind.
There ain't no beatin' round the bush, or splittin' 'airs with 'im,
'E's a good, confidin', straight, 'ard ridin' cove is Father Jim.

"The world, me boys," 'e says, "is like a rampin', rearin' colt;
But sit down in the saddle 'ard, an' get a good firm holt;
A-tighten up the girths o' faith, an' see they ain't too thin,
Or else 'e'll land you on yer 'ead into the mire o' sin.
'E'll pig an' rear, but never fear; grip tight yer bloomin' knee,
And 'ang on to the monkey strap of Christianitee." 

'E strolls into the shearin' shed an' meets you like a man;
'E's rounded up ole "Bill the Lad," an' yarded "Whiskey Dan."
'E 'elps us with the musterin' an' joins in any fun,
An' ain't afraid to sit the biggest outlaw on the run.
In fact, 'e's pals with every one from rouseabout to boss,
An' even John, the cook's, begun to doubt 'is favourite joss.
'E'll meet you in a pub, an' shout and 'ave 'is glass of beer,
But if 'e 'as a notion that yer getting on yer ear,
"Come on," 'e says, "yer goin' ome."  It's no use sayin' no,
'E 'as a sorter way with 'im thet simply makes you go.
'E ain't no chicken with the gloves, an' moves 'is maulers slick,
In 'alf a dozen rounds 'e makes the best of us look sick,
But if bare fists is wanted in a row 'e's alus there,
'E stouched Long Joe a week ago fer interruptin' prayer.

Like draftin' sheep on Judgement Day, 'e tells us it'll be,
"An' either to the right or left you'll 'ave to go," ses 'e.
"If you've the devil's ear-mark you'll be put into 'is fold;
You'll no require no fleeces there to keep you from the cold.
The scabby ones," ses 'e, "'ll go to blazes in a heap,
An' ther' ain't no pleasant pastures where the devil runs 'is sheep."

"Then buckle up yer girth," ses 'e, "an' see ther' firm and strong;
Grip 'ard the kneepads all you know, an' then you can't go wrong.
You'll bump about, ther' ain't no doubt, but take advice from me,
And 'ang on to the monkey strap o' Christianitee." 

First published in The Evening Journal, 1 July 1899;
and later in
The Critic, 29 June 1901.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 1, 2013 7:13 AM.

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