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

The Castaway

I met a lonely Labor man,
Forlorn and pessimistic:
Who'd not yet fallen 'neath the ban
Of leagues antagonistic.
With an expression greatly peeved,
His listless eye beheld me.
'Comrade,' said I. 'Why are you grieved?'
A most prodigious sigh he heaved,
And said: 'They've not expelled me!'


Said he, 'Why should I be passed by
And left alone to suffer.
Ignored, unless it be that I
Am counted as a duffer?
That they should, with especial pains,
Exclude me from expulsion,
When Labor's blowing out its brains,
And worthier men cast off the chains,
I view with marked revulsion.


'Amongst the legion of the left,
Shorn of the last, lorn vestige
Of fame, of all my pals bereft,
What hope have I of prestige?
I watch them going one by one,
The men who Labor's work have done,
While I'm left out of all the fun!
Why am I so ill-fated?'


'Cheer up!' said I. 'For some day hence,
If you work diligently,
You may speak words of common sense,
designed or accident'ly.
Then out you'll go unpon your neck,
Unkless I'm much mistaken.
Else, you'll remain, at ill-luck's beck,
A sailor clinging to a wreck,
By all the crew forsaken.'

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