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

The Barter Boom

Now, since man became a martyr
To this economic stress,
He has sought relief, in barter,
From financial wretchedness;
So, dispensing with the banker,
If you've aught to trade at all,
Any thing for which you hanker,
From a needle to an anchor,
From a slipway to a spanker,
Is at call.

So, now, what have you to proffer?
Make an offer! Make an offer!
Here's a punting gent prepared to make a deal;
He'll exchange a betting system
(All the winners, never missed 'em),
For a pair of boots - size seven - and a meal.
Here's a trusted politician,
Giving up his great position.
(Voters vacillate so shamefully alas!)
And he'll take a steady billet
Confident that he can fill it
For a pile of Hansards and one nice gold pass.

Here's a motorist who lately,
Slightly sozzled, bent on fun,
Somewhat prone, unfortunately,
To the game of hit and run,
Just involved in a disaster,
Swop one bent car, arted high,
Simplest in the world to master
(Eighty m.p.h., or faster),
For a roll of sticking plaster
And a good, safe alibi.

Now then, what have you to proffer?
Make an offer - any offer!
A poet (licensed) offers here a chance:
Ten Centenary effusions,
Odes, one set of young illusions
For a top-coat and a pair of unpatched pants.
Here's a City Council willing
To accept some concrete filling,
Headache powders, and a quantity of bricks,
For some fancy flags (all nations)
Sundry faded decorations
And a great, big blithering pile of lollysticks.

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