Scrap Iron by C.J Dennis

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Old Pete Parraday is back from the Show.
"Wastin' of a man's time," he says, "it was, to go.
New things, an' strange things, an' funny things they've planned:
Muddled-up machinery a man can't understand,
With doo-dads an' dinky-doos an' gadgets fancy-faked;
I stared at 'em an' studied till me poor head ached.
A man to be a farmer now, with them coniptions queer,
Has got to go to college first an' be a ingineer.

"I s'pose they calls it progress, but it fair makes me sick,
This buildin' somethink cute an' queer for doin' somethink quick:
Savin' time an' savin' space they've sweated an' they've slaved;
An' don't do nothink with it much when once they've got it saved,
Ixcep' to slaughter honest folk, in peace-time an' war,
With motey cars an' airyplanes much quicker than afore.
A man is scarcely born today afore he's dead an' done.
(A-crossin' of them city streets ain't no man's fun.)

"I s'pose I'm of an old age, a age that's nigh on past.
'Good riddance, too,' they'll say of us when all is gone at last:
The safe men, the slow men, who done nowt big or new --
'Cep' pioneerin' continents, an' that ain't much to do.
But they can have their sky-scrapers towerin' to the skies.
These wise, old hills o' mine is quite a tidy size!
An' they have taught me many a thing of mankind an' his ways
That's like to send these modrin folk fair dumbstruck with amaze.

"Oh, I dessay I had me fun. But what pained most in town;
I never seen an old friend the whole time I was down --
Them old mates out o' Gippsland an' back o' Bungaree,
With long beards an' carpet bags, they've stole a march on me.
They've gone an' stole a march on me, since thirty year ago,
An' I'm a stranger in the world that men don't know.
So back I comes to my old hills to hid me silly face --
A stranger in a new world; scrap-iron out o' place."

First published in The Herald, 28 September 1936

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 28, 2013 8:51 AM.

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