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The Prince Passes by Myra Morris

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For this -- for love of all our freedom brings,
   The roll of drums, the eager, hurrying feet!
   I hear the straining flags that toss and beat
Above the brazen-throated welcomings.
Not of this hour alone the love that springs
   Full-blown at birth, along the surging street!
   Ages have gone to make the thing we greet
In him -- the clear-eyed son of conquering kings.  

Britain is breathing here! Her breath is blown
Far back through each long, time-enshrouded year.  
I hear the marching feet, of liberty,
Their shouts that rocked Carnarvon's rugged stone.
And high above the clamorous crowd I hear 
The shrill crescendo of triumphant sea!

First published in The Argus, 5 June 1920

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Aftermath by C.J. Dennis

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We've had our glimpse of Royalty; we've seen our future King.
I don't know what the welkin is, but, faith, we've made it ring.
The flags are down, the lights are out; Bill Backblox and his wife
Have left us.  Then to work again -- the same old hum-drum life.

               THE CATERER.

They say that ev'ry camine has his day some time or other.
I've had a rippin' week of it, and wouldn't mind another.
This visit of the Duke's has put a nice bit in my way.
And I wouldn't care a hang if Dukes came round here ev'ry day.

              THE UNEMPLOYED.

For six long months I looked fer work, an' cussed the 'ole creation,
An' got a job at last upon a bloomin' decoration.
I've earned an honest bob, an' you kin bet I'm feelin' loy'l.
I barracks fer the blessed Dook, becos 'e found me toil.

               THE FESTIVE ONE.

Yes, please; a soda straight, miss.  Make it cool and make it long;
My recent burst of loyalty has been a trifle strong.
I'm feeling rather chippy, hardly quite the proper thing,
For I haven't seen such gladness since the night of Mafeking.

              WAYBACK BILL.

Oh, yes; I've seen the Jook, an' 'ad a dickens of a time.
The flags an' things was lovely, an' the feeds I 'ad was prime.
I've done a bit of cash in, but it might 'ave 'appened worse,
Tho' I lost me brown portmanteau, an' a fellers got me purse.

               THE DUKE.

Heigh-ho! that's one more finished: I shall soon be through them all.
They're nice, but even strings of flags and councillors will pall.
Quite a decent lot of people, but I wasn't built to roam.
There's only one more place to do, then through the Cape for home.

First published in The Critic, 20 July 1901

The Royal Hat by C.J. Dennis

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Now a hat is a hat, and a head is a head,
And there's "reason in most things," as someone has said,
And a joke is a joke; but, I give you a word,
This roofing of kings is becoming absurd.

In days neolithic, when clothing was rare,
And a troglodyte's wardrobe comprised mainly hair
When a nose-bone and anklet were reckoned "the thing,"
The cave-men elected a kind of a king.

Then trouble arose; for the bloke in the street
Didn't bow to the king when they happened to meet;
For when a king's hairiness sums up his clobber,
A loyalist hardly knows when he should slobber.

This king set to work, with a serious frown,
And in few than six months he'd invented the crown --
A mere wreath of rushes, not much of a thing,
But it published the fact that the wearer was king.

Now, I put it to you, as a man to a man
There was reason and sense in that troglodyte's plan;
For as he remarked, "'Tisn't much of a fit,
But 'twill help to proclaim to the crowd I am It."

But he didn't call round him his dukes and his lords,
His cousins and aunts, and relations in hordes,
His troglodyte bishops to blither and rave;
No, he just shoved it on in his own private cave.

But the king who came next was a vain sort of man
(And this is just where all the trouble began).
He was fond of a "function" and eager for show;
And he sowed all the seeds of the nonsense we know.

It started like that; and the foolishness grew
From inviting a friendly and intimate few,
Till the time when the whole blinded nation was bid on
The day when the king had to get his new lid on.

With a babble the rabble goes forth to the Fog,
Forgetting the rent, and forsaking the dog;
They are rushing to London and all because -- Why?
To see a crown cocked o'er the boss-prince's eye!

From its innermost heart to its outermost spot
The whole bloomin' Empire has gone off its dot.
For to count "any class" you must be in the swim,
And shout with the crowd at the hatting, "That's 'im!

"That's 'is 'ighness the King with the large golden hat --
It's worth twice the money to see 'im like that!"
And every old person "of note" will be there,
Who can dodge the collector and rake up the fare.

Barons and bishops and boodlers in hordes,
The earliest earls and the lordliest lords,
Nabobs and niggers from India's strand
And the juiciest Jews that they raise on the Rand.

Marshals and marquises, brewers in sheaves,
Admirals, aldermen, stock-exchange thieves,
And the duckiest duchesses, gorgeously gowned,
Will flock into London to see the King crowned.

Princes and premiers from over the seas
Will jostle the Rajahs and Labor M.P.'s;
The peerage and beerage will crowd in the Stand,
With squatters and rotters who libel their land.

And, when you consider the crowd and the time,
You expect them to burst into babyish rhyme:
"With a rumpity-bump, and a pit-a-pit-pat.
To see an archbishop put on the king's hat."

But I put it to you, as a friend to a friend:
What the deuce is the use of it all in the end?
For you'd think, once he's under his gorgeous cover,
There ought to be something to show when it's over.

But, save you! he don't wear the thing in the street,
To signify something to coves he may meet;
He wraps it in wadding and puts it away,
And wears a plain billycock tile every day!

And when all the blither and blather is o'er,
The rustle and bustle, the rush and the roar,
Then, this is what calls for hilarious laughter:
He's just as much monarch before it as after!

The bills and the bailiffs come round as before,
And buzz-flies will buzz in the springtime once more,
It doesn't make milkers or mining shares rise,
Or cure indigestion or specks 'fore the eyes.

The welkin may ring with the national glee,
(You'll know, though I don't, what the welkin may be).
And the "thin crimson thread of our kinship" may twang;
But that ain't improvin' the birthrate a hang.

So, I put it to you, as a cobber to cobber;
Do you see the sense of this silly old slobber?
Take any old head, and take any old hat,
Shove one on the other -- what's there in that?

For a hat is a hat, and a head is a head,
And a joke is a joke, as I've previously said;
But a farce is a farce, and, I give you my word,
This roofing of kings is becoming absurd.

First published in The Bulletin, 15 June 1911;
and later in
Backblock Ballads and Other Verses by C.J. Dennis, 1913.

A Secret in Society by C.J. Dennis

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It has for some time been a well-kept secret in London society circles that King Edward's health has not been as good as his personal friends would wish. - Melbourne AGE.

Quick! - Quick!
His Majesty is sick
Hurry with the camomile and fetch a heated brick.
      He has got another spasm.
      'Tisn't often that he has 'em.
When he does he's touchy, and inclined to raise Old Nick.
But, care! O, care!
Should a duke or baron dare
Tell the news below his station he'll be bowstringed then and there.

Hist! - Hist!
The King has got a twist!
There's a swelling of his fingers that have recently been kissed
      By some loyal princely nigger,
      And they're getting big and bigger,
And we fear some black infection has attacked the royal fist.
But see, O see,
That 'tis whispered secretly;
Or they'll lynch the Lord Physician for allowing it to be.

Hush! Hush!
Don't stand around and crush!
The royal countenance is overspread with quite a flush.
      He is feeling rather worried,
      And his pulse is rather hurried,
But we have to save the nation from a universal blush.
Then mind, O mind!
Shut the door and draw the blind.
Let no lord or earl divulge it to the lesser human kind.

Ssh! Ssh!
It is the royal wish
That the populace must never know the King has eaten fish:
      Eaten largely of tinned salmon,
      With results (but we must gammon) --
With results that make him sorry that he didn't pass the dish,
And O! 'Tis O!
If the populace should know,
There would be an inundation when the tears began to flow.

First published in The Bulletin, 20 May 1909

A Strike of Loyalists by C.J. Dennis

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If the King of England signed the Bill and force was used to coerce the Ulster loyalists, he for one would never again sing the National Anthem.  How could he sing "God Save the King" if his Majesty gave his sanction to such an iniquitous measure?  (Hear, hear.) - Speaker at a Melbourne Orange meeting.

Never again!  Though he starve and die
   For the lack of praise we gave him.
Never again!  Though he yearn and sigh
   For the strains of the old "Gor' Save 'Im."
If a king will thus transgress our rules
We loyalists shall down our tools.

What is the use of a king to us
   Who is dead against our notions --
Mocking our whims and our foibles thus,
   And  our "loyal" Orange motions?
What is the use of our loyalty
If a king won't think the same as we?

Never again shall we doff the hat
   To the strains of anthems royal:
When they lift their voices -- (mostly flat) --
   And declare they still are loyal.
And the lack of howls in a minor key
Shall rack his soul with misery.

Not a word of ours shall praise his name,
   For he counts no more our cobber.
And a king who fails to play our game
   Ain't worth a single slobber.
Then let him reign in silence grim;
This lack of praise will madden him.

Never again shall the rafters ring
   With a midnight song uproarious,
Asking heaven to save our king
   And to send him great and glorious.
And heaven, marking well the lapse,
Will cease its patronage, perhaps.

Then let him mope in his castle dim,
   A king unsung, ungreeted;
And yearn in vain for the loyal hymn
   To which he once was treated.
And let him weep and cry in vain:
"Let's hear 'Gor' Save' just once again!"

Never again!  Though he plead with sobs
   And on his knees doth sue us!
For kings who want to hold their jobs
   Must be respectful to us.
If they ignore our little ways
Henceforth shall we withhold all praise.

Upon his throne in London town
   A king sat up and wondered.
The loyal howls he longed to drown
   No more around him thundered.
"Nay, can it be we are so blest?
Peace! Peace at last!  Now may we rest!"

First published in The Bulletin, 23 April 1914

Between Ourselves by C.J. Dennis

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No; we are not going to the Coronation.
   Quite ridiculous! We wouldn't, anyhow.
As dear Arthur lately said,
He would rather be found dead
   Than among the crowd infesting London now --
All the hoi polloi to see the Coronation --
   Trippers! Don't count us with them! Oh, dear no!
Every Tom, Dick, Harry there
Who contrives to raise his fare.
   I'm surprised that you should dream that we might go.

But, between ourselves, my dear, I'm simply fuming.
   I had counted so on going all along.
But, just at the very time
We need money -- It's a crime --
   Arthur's business matters have to go all wrong.
And dear Arthur says he couldn't raise a copper
   For a frankfurt if they asked cash on the spot.
So exclusiveness we hug,
And we raise our brows and shrug
   As we murmur, "Coronation?  Rather NOT!"

Our Best People do not rush the Coronation --
   I mean to say, the socially select.
One can't be too careful, dear.
We may do the trip next year
   When one really knows, you know what, to expect.
But London at the time of the Coronation?
   Oh, utterly impossible. So low!
It's a shame that our dear king
Has to suffer such a thing.
   I can't think how you could think we meant to go.

But, between ourselves, I'm mad with disappointment.
   I felt so confident we should be there
To improve our social rank.
But, dear Arthur says the bank
   Would not listen when he tried to raise the fare.
So, of necessity, we make a virtue,
   And seek the final refuge of the snob;
And with most superior poses
We look primly down our noses
   As we murmur, "Coronation! With THAT mob?"

First published in The Herald, 29 March 1937

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