Henry Lawson

A New John Bull

A tall, slight, English gentleman, With an eyeglass to his eye; He mostly says Good-Bai to you, When he means to say Good-bye; He shakes hands like a ladies’ man, For all the world to see But they know, in Corners of the World. No ladies’ man is he. A tall, slight English gentleman, Who hates to soil his hands; He takes his mother’s drawing-room To the most outlandish lands; And when, through Hells we dream not of, His battery prevails, He cleans the grime of gunpowder And blue blood from his nails. He’s what our blokes in Egypt call A decent kinder cove. And if the Pyramids should fall? He’d merely say Bai Jove! And if the stones should block his path For a twelve-month, or a day, He’d call on Sergeant Whatsisname To clear those things away! A quiet English gentleman, Who dots the Empire’s rim, Where sweating sons of ebony Would go to Hell for him. And if he chances to get winged, Or smashed up rather worse, He’s quite apologetic to The doctor and the nurse. A silent English gentleman Though sometimes he says Haw. But if a baboon in its cage Appealed to British Law And Justice, to be understood, He’d listen all polite, And do his very best to set The monkey grievance right. A thoroughbred whose ancestry Goes back to ages dim; Yet no one on his wide estates Need fear to speak to him. Although he never showed a sign Of aught save sympathy, He was the only gentleman That shamed the cad in me.

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