Occupy Poetry

The Pannikin Poet

BY Andrew Barton Paterson

There's nothing here sublime,
But just a roving rhyme,
Run off to pass the time,
With nought titanic in.
The theme that it supports,
And, though it treats of quarts,
It's bare of golden thoughts --
It's just a pannikin.

I think it's rather hard
That each Australian bard --
Each wan, poetic card --
With thoughts galvanic in
His fiery thought alight,
In wild aerial flight,
Will sit him down and write
About a pannikin.

He makes some new-chum fare
From out his English lair
To hunt the native bear,
That curious mannikin;
And then the times get bad
That wandering English lad
Writes out a message sad
Upon his pannikin:

"O mother, think of me
Beneath the wattle tree"
(For you may bet that he
Will drag the wattle in)
"O mother, here I think
That I shall have to sink,
There ain't a single drink
The water-bottle in."

The dingo homeward hies,
The sooty crows uprise
And caw their fierce surprise
A tone Satanic in;
And bearded bushmen tread
Around the sleeper's head --
"See here -- the bloke is dead!
Now where's his pannikin?"

They read his words and weep,
And lay him down to sleep
Where wattle branches sweep,
A style mechanic in;
And, reader, that's the way
The poets of today
Spin out their little lay
About a pannikin.

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