The Down-Hill Track by C.J Dennis

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Improving conditions at home and travellers' tales from abroad, all indicating a world-wide industrial recovery, raise the question of whether nations and individuals will be as ill-prepared for the prosperity as they were for the depression.

The dawnin' of prosperity
   Recalls (said old George Jones)
When I was young, a song we sung,
   In none too sober tones,
When easy, breezy days were here,
   An' cash was wildly spent.
Small good it done to anyone;
   But this is how it went:
"Oh, toil with a will to the summit of the hill.
   It's the luggin' an' the tuggin' does the trick,
But be careful of the drop when you've labored to the top,
   An' the fool who makes the pace too quick.
For there's more loads spilled, an' there's more men killed,
   Where the road runs to the valley down below;
So, restrain that eager itchin'; sit well back into the britchin'.
   Go slow, Sonny-lad, go slow!"
I've lived me life (said old George Jones)
   An' learned me lesson well:
The pampered flesh clothes no old bones,
   As history's headstones tell --
The "Champagne Charlies" of my day,
   The short an' merry run -
High livin's tucked more men away
   Than hard times ever done.
Oh, dig in yer toes where the up'ard track it goes.
   It's the strivin' an' the drivin' does the trick.
But take it steady, son, when yer on the down'ard run;
   'Tis the fool who makes the pace too quick.
For the most men trips when the down grade dips,
   An' there's more stones a'lurkin' for your toe.
Save yer wind an' spare yer muscle for the next long uphill tussle.
   Go slow, Sonny-lad, go slow!

First published in The Herald, 13 October 1933

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 13, 2013 6:54 AM.

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