The Rubaiyat of the Virtuous Voter by C.J. Dennis

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Saturday is Federal Election Day

Awake!  For scorning Politics, as might
Olympian nobs, and vowing them a blight
   Beneath the notice of wise Men like us
Is not the way to put our Country right.

Come, fill the Square, and in this joyous Spring
The Robe of Apathy from off you fling
   One little Vote may seem a small Affair;
And yet, on that a Nation's fate may swing.

Think, in the Polling Booth on Saturday
When you set down your fateful "Yea" or "Nay,"
   How Leader after Leader and his Clan
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.

Deakin, indeed, is gone who swiftly rose,
And Reid, with his Dry Dog, where no man knows;
   But still the Vote is vital to the Cause
And still the Ballot Box holds Weal -- or Woes.

They say the Moth and Silverfish now keep
The Courts where Billihughes once thundered deep.
   Ah, "Blithering Blazes."  Such are Politics:
Votes are most precious: but wild Words are cheap.

And Bruce's lips are lock't; but in remote
High-piping Canberra, with "Vote!  Vote!  Vote!
   "Please, Vote!" the Candidate cried to the Crowd;
And still the Tax-forms round the Country float.

Yet, shall this Land of ours be sunk in shame
Because we, listless, failed to play the game?
   Ah, mark the Square according to your choice --
(And don't forget to number every Name).

And if the Vote you vote, the Square you mark
Still leave you groping in the Outer Dark
   For Cash to pay more Taxes; serves you right!
You had your Chance; but you would be a Nark.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
That's that.  Thou hast no more to do with it.
   'Tis vain to cry that politics are crook;
Thy later Rage won't alter Things one bit.

And that inverted Bowl we call the Sky
Whereunder we let this one Chance slip by,
   Lift not thy hands to it for aid -- for It
Is upside-down and absolutely dry.

And when Thyself with faltering Foot shall pass
Amongst the Members seeking -- what?  Alas,
   Some respite from the Burdens that you bear?
Aw, turn it up!  Don't be an Ass, thou Ass!

First published in The Herald, 13 September 1934

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 13, 2013 7:17 AM.

The Righteous Man by C.J. Dennis was the previous entry in this blog.

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