Thrift by C.J. Dennis

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Mr. W. Herbert Phillips. chairman of the Board of the Savings Bank of South Australia, etc., commented on the effect of the growth of music halls in Australia, and said that it was always difficult after race meetings to collect rents for cottages from people of the working classes. - Report of the Edinburgh Thrift Conference.
Marriage, drinking long-sleevers, and going to theatres are luxuries, and it is unfair to ask employers to pay for them. - Remarks of an official of Vic. Employers' Federation.

Are ye frugal, O my brothers?  Are ye putting by the pence?
Do ye scrape and save to meet a rainy day?
      Are ye meek and self-denying,
      Or, while Fate and Fat defying,
Do ye rashly fling your hard-earned coin away?

Nay, I fear me ye are careless, ye are ignorant of Thrift,
And I fear me that ye do not - more than twice -
      Look a thrippence in the face
      Ere ye plunge and go the pace,
And lash it up on vanity and vice.

Hark, my brothers, humble brothers, common blokes that earn a wage,
Cease your mad pursuit of pleasure; pause and think.
      Listen to the anxious Tory,
      Hark ye to his mournful story,
For he loves you very dearly - ('scuse the wink).

Yes he loves you like a brother, and it pains him frightfully
To observe your careless disregard of cash.
      In his wisdom he foresees
      That if you persist in these
Wild extravagances, something has to smash.

In the olden days, dear brothers, when the worker knew his place,
He was humble and contented with his lot.
      And this modern inclination
      To aspire beyond his station
Is the fell result of Socialistic rot!

Seek ye beers and halls o' pleasure? Go ye to the races?  Fie!
Where is this lust for revelry to stay?
      Soon you'll be demanding marriage
      And - ye gods! - a baby carriage;
Things for which you will expect the boss to pay!

Why, already your wild orgies make the noble Landlord weep.
Even now you just contrive to pay his rent.
      But if you will go to races
      And to such expensive places
What of that projected rise of ten per cent?

For our betters are earth's pleasures, for the squires and wealthy drones,
For the magnates and the masters that employ;
      And all-seeing Providence,
      In Its wise beneficence,
Has decreed that he who works may not enjoy.

First published in The Bulletin, 14 July 1910

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 14, 2013 8:20 PM.

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