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

The Bore

Ah, prithee friend, if thou has ought
Of love and kind regard for me
Tell not you bore the stories droll
That yesternight I told to thee.

Nor tell him stories of thine own,
Nor chestnut of antiquitee;
Nor quip, nor crank, nor anything
If thou has ought of love for me.

For sense of humour hath he none,
No gift for telling tales hath he:
Yet thinks himself within his heart
A wit of wondrous drolleree.

And in the golden summer-time
With ear a-cock he roameth free,
Collecting quibble, quip, and crank;
And anecdotes collecteth he.

Then in the dreary winter nights
He sits him down 'neath my roof tree,
And in a coarse, ungently voice
He tells those stories back to me.

He hath no wit for telling tales,
He laughs where ne'er a point there be;
But sits and murders honest yarns,
And claims them as his propertee.

When he laughs I rock and roar;
Ay, laugh both loud and merrilee;
And, mark thou, friend, my martyrdom
He is a creditor to me.

He is a man of mighty power;
In very fact, a great J.P.;
And I, his debtor, rock and roar,
And vow he'll be the death o' me.

Ay, prithee, friend, if thou hast love
For goodly jests or care for me,
Then tell him not the merry tale
That yesternight I told to thee.

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