The Liberal Constitution by C.J. Dennis

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The Liberal party's platform was an all-embracing one. - Daily paper.

          Jack Sprat would eat no fat,
             His wife would eat no lean,
          And so, betwixt them both, you see,
             They licked the platter clean.
                          - Old nursery rhyme

Gentlemen, I'd like to mention, with your very kind attention,
   One important point I wish you all to know;
We've a policy extensive and extremely comprehensive --
          Me an' Joe.
As a fact, 'tis all-embracing, just to put the matter flat;
Therefore, where's the need to mention that we favor "this" or "that"? 

Quite unlike the other party, we're so vigorous and hearty,
   We can thrive on any diet, high or low.
And, if you decide to follow us, just notice what we swallow -
          Me an' Joe.
It is hardly worth while mentioning what Joseph can't digest,
And, when he has picked his dishes, I, with ease, absorb the rest.

While other folks are musing o'er the menu, picking, choosing,
   In a fashion most fastidious and slow,
At embracing or surrounding -- all the meal we are astounding --
          Me an' Joe.
As an economic method it admits no ifs or buts;
For we clean up all the courses from the oysters to the nuts.

Legislative indigestion in regard to any question
   Marks the party whose vitality is low;
Weaklings in the estimation of that sturdy combination,
          Me an' Joe.
For the food that is politically poisonous to me
Joe takes with relish, while -- well, vice versa don't you see.

I can take, with little trouble, foods political that double
   Joseph up, upon the floor, in direst woe;
But they all declare, who've seen us, we're omnivorous between us --
          Me an' Joe.
Joseph's fond of food imported with a dash of Tory sauce;
I love fare more democratic and Australian grown, of course.

Thus, observe, in fiscal matters we contrive to clean the platters.
   'Tis surprising how we make the viands go!
With our dual constitution we can do great execution --
          Me an' Joe.
And the others of our party have such varied appetities
That there's really very little left to feed the cat o' nights.

For, the others at the table, watching us, are quickly able
   To elect the food they fancy most -- although
Some they find it hard to swallow in their brave attempts to follow
          Me an' Joe.
Then a little Argus Syrup or some "Mother 'Eralds Pills"
Are most useful in averting any gastronomic ills.

Gentlemen, 'twould only weary you to state in manner dreary,
   That we favor "this," or "that," or "so-and-so,"
When, as you well know who've seen us, we can scoff the lot between us --
          Me an' Joe.
And I warn you to be careful of that legislative group
Which has appetite for nothing but mere Democratic soup.

Such dyspeptic politicians are not fit for their positions;
   They are weak and puny creatures: let them go;
And, whatever you adhere to, you can bet your cause is dear to
          Me -- or Joe.
For our iron constitution is a thing to marvel at,
And, when we 'ave dined, as I have said, there's little for the cat.

First published in The Bulletin, 15 August 1912

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 15, 2013 7:20 AM.

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