― 28 ―

The Prerogative of Piper's Flat

note One evening, just at sundown, I was sitting on a rail,
When up rode big Tim Brady, who had been to fetch the mail.
Taking out a daily newspaper, he handed it to me,
And, pointing to a paragraph, “Just look at this,” says he,
“Here's a cove called Victor Trumper, an Australian by birth,
Has been moppin' up the cricket records all around the earth,
Such centuries and aggregates were never known before,
And New South Wales is 'dotty' because Trumper's topped the score.

  ― 29 ―
I says, when I had read it, “Yes, I think I've heard his name,
And, accordin' to the cablegrams, he plays a decent game.
In breaking English records, he's been makin' fame for us,
And I think, in spite of Kipling, that a young man might do wuss;
But before he breaks all records, he has got to wait a bit,
For he hasn't broke M'Dougall's, who scored fifty in a hit.
I ain't the least bit jealous - I don't speak because of that,
But we'll let no bloomin' Trumpers take the cake from Piper's Flat.

“When M'Dougall piled his record up, and knocked Molonglo dead,
He didn't play them with his bat, he played them with his head.
If Trumper comes to Piper's Flat he'll find we're not asleep,
For what we had the head to win we'll have the head to keep.
He'll meet with every kindness, he shall have a horse to ride,
But, if he rides the chestnut mare, he'll have to get inside.

  ― 30 ―
She threw Flash Mat, the horse-breaker, and ruined his profile;
And the man will make a record that can ride her half a mile.

“We'll fill him up with ginger wine, and cream, and nice fresh cheese,
And then, if he is fit to go, we'll show him Bowker's bees;
They're awfully fond of strangers, and if Trumper plays at all
After he's done inspecting them, he'll never see the ball.
He'll find the wicket bumpy, and the bowling rather wild,
And, then, we've still got Pincher left, and Pincher ain't no child.
He understands M'Dougall. If his master tells him so
He'll get a grip on Trumper's pants, and never let 'em go.

“When every man is equal, why - then no man will be best,
And every score that's made will be same as all the rest.
In the socialistic language there is no such word as strife,

  ― 31 ―
And the bloke that breaks a record will be put in gaol for life.
Then Trumper's and M'Dougall's fame will not be fame at all,
And perhaps we'll drop our record, just as Pincher dropped the ball.
But until then our record shall remain at Piper's Flat,
We've only one, but you may bet your boots we'll stick to that.

“If Trumper is contented with the records he has got,
And don't come up to Piper's Flat to try to scoop the lot,
Then Brady and M'Dougall, and the men of Piper's Flat
Will wish good luck to Trumper, and they won't forget the hat.
They mean to keep their record, but they all acknowledge worth,
And hail him as the most accomplished cricketer on earth.
Their cheers will make the gum trees shake, they'll pledge him in a bumper.
While breath holds out they'll roar and shout, 'Long life to Victor Trumper.’”