― 48 ―

Simple Sam

Sam Fallow was a farming man
Of substance and sobriety,
Who lived near Coonabarabran
In comfort and propriety.

For twenty years from morn till night
He'd worked with willing cheeriness;
For twenty years from dark till light
He'd rested from his weariness.

His intellect was calm and free
From falsehood or duplicity;
And what his neighbours told him he
Believed with sweet simplicity.

But though his mental calibre
Was babylike and innocent,
His physical proportions were
Both mighty and magnificent.

  ― 49 ―
His mind was like the virgin soil,
Of great potentiality;
His thews and sinews, tough with toil,
The cultured actuality.

And Sam came down to Sydney town,
To spend his Christmas holiday;
And there he met with William Brown,
And with him spent a jolly day.

Now, William Brown was bad and bold,
While Sam was all simplicity,
And all the tales that William told
Sam swallowed with felicity.

When introduced to William's friend,
And William's friend predicted him
Long life and money without end,
Sam never contradicted him.

When they performed some little trick,
And challenged Sam to do it, he
At once confessed his head was thick
And void of ingenuity.

Then William Brown grew sad and sighed,
And murmured quite dejectedly: -
"My rich old Uncle James has died
In Fiji, unexpectedly.”

  ― 50 ―
As beat of drums and trumpet tones
Arouse a camp from sleepiness,
So these few words through Samuel's bones
Produced a kind of creepiness.

Some message from the distant past
At Sam's dull brain seemed hammering,
He thought a moment, then at last
He recognised its clamouring.

"Why now I know,” at length he cried -
"And I was near deluded too -
The chap, when poor old grand-dad died,
His latest words alluded to.

"Before he breathed his last, says he,
'Remember, though I'm leaving you,
That coves with uncles in Fiji
Are frauds who are deceiving you.

" 'When Noah on his ancient deck
Met such a one who sounded him,
He caught the beggar by the neck
And chucked him out and drownded him.

" 'I'm peggin' out without a doubt,
But if you meet 'em score with 'em;
Just turn the wasters inside out,
And wipe the bloomin' floor with 'em.’

  ― 51 ―
"And then poor grand-dad died; and so
His dying words affected me,
I've got to do, before I go,
As poor grand-dad directed me.”

Sam caught a spieler in each hand,
In vain was all their battling;
For miles around, I understand,
Folks heard their bones a-rattling.

He swung those spielers round and round,
Was deaf to all their squealing, too;
And Sam not only swept the ground,
He wiped the walls and ceiling too.

And when he dropped them on the floor,
Mere remnants of humanity,
The room was filled with hair and gore,
With garments and profanity.

Now, when the festive times come round,
The time for Jays and Jugginses,
Two battered spielers still are found
In search of Mugs and Mugginses.

But if perchance they meet a man
Of simple amiability,
And he says, “Coonabarabran,”
They vanish with agility.