Cackle by C.J. Dennis

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I trust our deliberations will be characterised neither by niggling nor peddling, but by strong views and broad views. (Applause.) - ALFRED DEAKIN.

   Oh, my brothers do not wrangle.
   When the sweets of office dangle
   At a most inviting angle
         Be polite.
   In the legislative struggle,
   When in office safe you snuggle,
   Then to jangle or to juggle
         Isn't right.

   And, O never, never niggle!
   Though the vulgar people giggle
   When they see a statesman wriggle
         To a place.
   And, I prithee, never niggle;
   With the man who stops to peddle,
   For the act upon his head'll
         Bring disgrace.

And we ought to take a broad, strong view.
What's the matter if the prospect isn't new?
   There is virtue in the viewing.
   When it comes to merely doing,
Well, it's really not important what you do.
   It's the view -
         Grand view!
Never let the doing part embarrass you.

   When in politics you dabble
   Then of course you'll have to babble,
   To the vote-possessing rabble -
         'Tis the game.
   When you engineer a shuffle
   The ensuing party scuffle
   Somebody is sure to ruffle,
         All the same.

   Then be wary; do not tremble;
   Smile politely and dissemble,
   Though your actions do resemble
   When your legislative symbol
   Is the tricky pea and thimble
   Your manipulations nimble
         Are not faults.

But, I charge you, take a strong, broad view.
It is most entrancing when you have the screw.
   There's no need to be exacting
   In the manner of your acting;
'Tis the statesman's motto when dissensions brew
   Watch the view -
         Wide view!
And your story of the sight will see you through.

   When a banquet you've to tackle
   Where the ancient chestnuts crackle,
   And you have to rise and cackle
         To your kind.
   Mayhap some hiccoughing freak'll
   Rise and, venturing to speak, 'll
   Mention you as "Misher Deakle,"
         Never mind.

   Let your honeyed phrases trickle,
   And defend the Fusion pickle;
   Show them that you are not fickle
         In the least.
   Say that, why we do not muzzle
   Labor members is a puzzle;
   And they'll cheer you as they guzzle
         At the feast.

And bid them take a broad, strong view.
Bid them see around both corners, same as you.
   You're the saviour of the nation
   At a mayoral celebration
If you do not harp too much upon the "do."
   Praise the view -
         Grand view!
And they vow you are a statesman strong and true.

   With this popular preamble
   You may then adroitly amble
   To the shocking party scramble.
         Voice your fears.
   Tell them Labor's sure to stumble
   If it does not cease to grumble;
   And each alderman will mumble
         Glad "Hear, hears."

   While the nuts they calmly nibble
   Let vague phrases gently dribble;
   Give them any quip or quibble.
         You're immense.
   But, ah prithee! do not trifle
   With a hint of acts; and stifle
   Any mention of a rifle
         Or defence.

For there's safety in the strong, broad view.
The suppression of the hard, strong "do"
   Is a matter most essential
   When the Tory consequential
Is the man you reckon on to see you thro'.
   Boost the view -
         Great view?
And they'll all begin to think they see it too.

   Budding statesmen, there is muckle
   In the View when you've to truckle
   To the crowd that will not buckle
         Into graft.
   When your policy's a muddle,
   And you're sailing in a puddle
   With a Fusion crowd that huddle
         On a raft;

   Talk in vague, unmeaning jingle;
   For the crowd with which you mingle
   Holds within it scarce a single
         One who'll work.
   Here, where HANSARD's pages rustle,
   Three a show of rush and bustle,
   But there's ne'er a chance to hustle;
         You must shirk.

Keep your eye upon the broad, strong view.
Call the crowd's attention to it till you're blue.
   Keep them watching intently,
   And you can con-ven-i-ently
Hate the fact that you have nothing much to do.
   Praise the view -
         Fine view!
And they may forget to keep an eye on you.

First published in The Bulletin, 2 September 1909

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 2, 2013 7:28 AM.

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