The Battler by C.J. Dennis

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The latest hold-up in "industry" concerns a strike of boxers. Pugilists at a suburban stadium have struck for higher pay. Loser in preliminary bouts demanded a more liberal reward than 12/6 for a four-round contest.

"'It 'im!" they yelled, as he mowed the air
   With a wild, wide, futile right.
"'It 'im!" they shrieked, as he floundered there,
   "Oh, fight, you blighter, fight!"
Then he grabbed for a clinch and he hung on grim,
   Earning his scant night's hire:
Then groped to his corner, brain a-swim,
   While the ringside rocked with ire.

"'It 'im!" they cried, as he came once more.
   "Why didn't you 'it 'im then?"
But he went to the mat for a count of four,
   Then he rose, and the clinched again.
"'It 'im!" they roared, athirst for blood;
   And their anger was loud and deep.
But he hit the floor with a sickening thud,
   And quietly went to sleep.

As he left the ring, a loser still,
   With many a bruise bedecked.
"If they want me to strike," said he, "I will,
   In a way that they least expect.
For I'm weary of bein' a choppin' block
   For a mad mob's holiday.
With twelve and a tanner for takin' the knock."
   So he struck -- for higher pay.

First published in The Herald, 21 October 1931

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 21, 2013 7:21 AM.

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