Recently in Lawyers and Judges Category

Dilemma by C.J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
I do not think I'd care to be a judge,
   And deeply ponder
Whether I should stand "pat" and never budge,
   Or, mayhap, wander,
From old pronouncements, if I deemed the course
   To be expedient,
In that it might some fractious Union force
   To turn obedient.

While the fight raged and argument grew hot
   With sharp divisions,
Should I with opportunists cast my lot
   Or with precisions?
Should I uphold the prestige of my Court
   Nor yield a tittle,
Or, seeking peace, decide to be a sport
   And, hedge a little?

Should I be firm, dispensing law without
Or should I, rather, torn by vexing doubt,
   Make stipulation?
Were I a judge, Hamlet might bother me
   With vague suggestion:
To be Beeby, or not to be Beeby --
   That is the question.

First published in The Herald, 8 December 1927

Note: the "Beeby" of the last verse is Sir Joseph Stevenson Beeby (1869-1942), a judge on the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration at the time.

The Lawyer Man by Max A.

| No TrackBacks
When people gather to discuss
The railway freights, the motor-bus,
Or anything allecting us
   Within our social plan;
Wherever people meet to spout,
To turn the Gov'ment inside out,
You'll notice somewhere in the rout
   A fervent lawyer-man.

At pleasant Sunday afternoons,
Where Judkins weaves his mystic runes
And Parson Edgar rolls his tunes
   And Woodful's in the van;
Where Johnny Wren in secret stands
And laughs at all O'Donnell's bands,
While shillings tumble in his hands --
   There lurks a lawyer-man.

Within the Parliamentary hall,
Where statesmen, at their country's call,
Orate, debate, and brag, and brawl,
   And prosper while they can;
Among those patriots grand and good,
Who guide our infant nationhood,
We find, more often than we should,
   The noble lawyer-man.

Too often your domestic life
Is vexed by sounds of bitter strile;
Beware lest you offend your wife
   And fall beneath her ban;
All anxious to redress her woes
(More well-informed than you suppose).
There sits and waits, with eager nose,
   The wily lawyer-man.

You're not a dull, unsocial grub --
You often toddle to a club,
Sit down to have a quiet rub
   Of bridge whene'er you can;
Your partner, when the rubber starts,
Will growl because you made it hearts,
And prove his case with subtle arts --
   You've struck a lawyer-man.

In politics, in social sphere,
In your domestic circle, dear,
Over your billiards, bowls and beer,
   You'll meet this conquering clan.
The days of kings and crowns are past --
To dim oblivion they are cast;
The monarch of the world atlast
   Is He, the lawyer-man.

First published in Melbourne Punch, 5 July 1906

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

In re a Gentleman, One by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

| No TrackBacks
When an attorney is called before the Full Court to answer for any alleged misconduct it is not usual to publish his name until he is found guilty; until then the matter appears in the papers as "In re a Gentleman, One of the Attorneys of the Supreme Court", or, more shortly, "In re a Gentleman, One".

We see it each day in the paper,
   And know that there's mischief in store;
That some unprofessional caper
   Has landed a shark on the shore.
We know there'll be plenty of trouble
   Before they get through with the fun,
Because he's been coming the double
   On clients, has "Gentleman, One".

Alas for the gallant attorney,
   Intent upon cutting a dash!
He starts on life's perilous journey
   With rather more cunning than cash.
And fortune at first is inviting --
   He struts his brief hour in the sun --
But, lo! on the wall is the writing
   Of Nemesis, "Gentleman, One".

For soon he runs short of the dollars,
   He fears he must go to the wall;
So Peters' trust-money he collars
   To pay off his creditor, Paul;
Then robs right and left -- for he goes it
   In earnest when once he's begun.
Descensus Averni -- he knows it;
   It's easy for "Gentleman, One".

The crash comes as soon as the seasons,
   He loses his coin in a mine,
Or booming in land, or for reasons
   Connected with women and wine.
Or maybe the cards or the horses
   A share of the damage have done --
No matter, the end of the course is
   The same: "Re a Gentleman, One."

He struggles awhile to keep going,
   To stave off detection and shame;
But creditors, clamorous growing,
   Ere long put an end to the game.
At length the poor soldier of Satan
   His course to a finish has run --
And just think of Windeyer waiting
   To deal with "A Gentleman, One"!

And some face it boldly, and brazen
   The shame and the utter disgrace;
While others, more sensitive, hasten
   Their names and their deeds to efface.
They snap the frail thread which the Furies
   And Fates have so cruelly spun.
May the great Final Judge and His juries
   Have mercy on "Gentleman, One"!

First published in The Bulletin, 30 March 1889, and again in the same magazine on 30 April 1930;
and later in
Saltbush Bill, J.P., and Other Verses by A.B. Paterson, 1917;
The Collected Verse of A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1982;
Singer of the Bush, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1885-1900 compiled by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983;
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990; and
Selected Poems: A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1992.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Lawyers and Judges category.

Language is the previous category.

Life is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en