― 134 ―

O'Hara, J.P.

JAMES PATRICK O'HARA, the Justice of Peace,
He bossed the P. M. and he bossed the police;
A parent, a deacon, a landlord was he —
A townsman of weight was O'Hara, J.P.

He gave out the prizes, foundation-stones laid,
He shone when the Governor's visit was paid;
And twice re-elected as Mayor was he —
The flies couldn't roost on O'Hara, J.P.

Now Sandy M`Fly, of the Axe-and-the-Saw,
Was charged with a breach of the licensing law —
He sold after hours whilst talking too free
On matters concerning O'Hara, J.P.

  ― 135 ―
And each contradicted the next witness flat,
Concerning back parlours, side-doors, and all that;
'Twas very conflicting, as all must agree —
‘Ye'd better take care!’ said O'Hara, J.P.

But ‘Baby,' the barmaid, her evidence gave —
A poor, timid darling who tried to be brave —
‘Now, don't be afraid — if it's frightened ye be —
‘Speak out, my good girl,’ said O'Hara, J.P.

Uer hair was so golden, her eyes were so blue,
Her face was so fair and her words seemed so true —
So green in the ways of sweet women was he
That she jolted the heart of O'Hara, J P.

He turned to the other grave Justice of Peace,
And whispered, ‘You can't always trust the police;
‘I'll visit the premises during the day,
‘And see for myself,’ said 0'Hara, Jay Pay.
(Case postponed.)

'Twas early next morning, or late the same night —
‘'Twas early next morning’ we think would be right —
And sounds that betokened a breach of the law
Escaped through the cracks of the Axe-and-the-Saw.

  ― 136 ―
And Constable Dogherty, out in the street,
Met Constable Clancy a bit off his beat;
He took him with finger and thumb by the ear,
And led him around to a lane in the rear.

He pointed a blind where strange shadows were seen —
Wild pantomime hinting of revels within —
‘We'll drop on M`Fly, if you'll listen to me,
‘And prove we are right to O'Hara, J. P.’'

But Clancy was up to the lay of the land,
He cautiously shaded his mouth with his hand —
‘Wisht, man! Howld yer whisht! or it's ruined we'll be,
‘It's the justice himself — it's 0'Hara, J.P.’

They hish'd and they whishted, and turned themselves round,
And got themselves off like two cats on wet ground;
Agreeing to be, on their honour as men,
A deaf-dumb-and-blind institution just then.

Inside on a sofa, two barmaids between,
With one on his knee was a gentleman seen;
And any chance eye at the keyhole could see
In less than a wink 'twas O'Hara, J.P.

  ― 137 ―
The first in the chorus of songs that were sung,
The loudest that laughed at the jokes that were sprung,
The guest of the evening, the soul of the spree —
The daddy of all was O'Hara, J.P.

And hard-cases chuckled, and hard-cases said
That Baby and Alice conveyed him to bed —
In subsequent storms it was painful to see
Those hard-cases side with the sinful J.P.

Next day, in the court, when the case came in sight,
O'Hara declared he was satisfied quite;
The case was dismissed — it was destined to be
The final ukase of O'Hara, J.P.

The law and religion came down on him first —
The Christian was hard but his wife was the worst!
Half ruined and half driven crazy was he —
It made an old man of O'Hara, J. P.

Now, young men who come from the bush, do you hear?
Who know not the power of barmaids and beer —
Don't see for yourself! from temptation steer free,
Remember the fall of O'Hara, J.P.