Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems



Now of all the old sinners in mischief immersed,

From the ages of Gog and Magog,

At the top of the list,from the last to the first,

And by every good soul in the parish accursed,

Is that scamp of a Presbyt'ry Dog.


He's a hairy old scoundrel as ugly as sin,

He's a demon that travels incog.,

With a classical name, and an ignorant grin,

And a tail, by the way, that is scraggy and thin,

And the rest of him merely a dog.


He is like a young waster of fortune possessed,

As he rambles the town at a jog;

For he treats the whole world as a sort of a jest,

While the comp'ny he keeps--well, it must be confessed

It's unfit for a Presbyt'ry Dog.


He is out on the street at the sound of a fight,

With the eyes on him standing agog,-

And the scut of a tail--well, bedad, it's a fright;

Faith, you'd give him a kick that would set him alight,

But you can't with the Presbyt'ry Dog.


His rotundity now to absurdity runs,

Like a blackfellow gone to the grog;

For the knowing old shaver the presbyt'ry shuns

When it's time for a meal, and goes off to the nuns,

Who're deceived in the Presbyt'ry Dog.


When he follows the priest to the bush, there is war.

He inspects the whole place at a jog,

And he puts on great airs and fine antics galore,

While he chases the sheep till we're after his gore,

Though he may be the Presbyt'ry Dog.


'Twas last Sunday a dog in the church went ahead

With an ill- bred and loud monologue,

And the priest said some things that would shiver the dead,

And I'm with him in every last word that he said -

Ah, But wait - 'twas the Presbyt'ry Dog.

John O'Brien


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