(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

George Jones Wonders

'When I was young,' said old George Jones
(And rumbling from his bearded lips,
His deep voice boomed in measured tones)
Them airyplanes an' motor-ships
Was never knowed in that far day.
The wind-blown craft that roamed the sea,
The stout draught horse, the bullock dray
Was quick enough for me like me.

'We lived and toiled and fared not ill:
Life was a thing to be enjoyed.
We sold out crops and ate our fill,
And heard few tales of unemployed.
But, lately, like some secret flame,
This world beheld a puzzling thing;
Peace, progress, plenty - yet, too came
Want, idleness and suffering.

'I asked a wine man from the town
Why, 'mid these riches, such ills are.
'Bad transport,' said he, with a frown,
And went off in his motor car.
I watched him racing down the road
To where, 'mid modern haste and fret,
This new world's tangled traffic flowed,
And scatched my head, more puzzled yet.

'Men say that times be mending now,
Maybe. But still they don't explain
This thing that worries me, somehow:
The more we get, the less we gain.
The more ships speed, the less they bring;
The more man has, the less he owns.
Why darn me! 'Tis a crazy thing!
It don't make sense,' said old George Jones.

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