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  ― 155 ―

Saint Peter

NOW, I think there is a likeness
'Twixt St. Peter's life and mine,
For he did a lot of trampin'
Long ago in Palestine.
He was ‘union’ when the workers
First began to organise,
And — I'm glad that old St. Peter
Keeps the gate of Paradise.

When the ancient agitator
And his brothers carried swags,
I've no doubt he very often
Tramped with empty tucker-bags;
And I'm glad he's Heaven's picket,
For I hate explainin' things,
And he'll think a union ticket
Just as good as Whitely King's.




  ― 156 ―
He denied the Saviour's union,
Which was weak of him, no doubt;
But perhaps his feet was blistered
And his boots had given out.
And the bitter storm was rushin'
On the bark and on the slabs,
And a cheerful fire was blazin',
And the hut was full of ‘scabs.’

When I reach the great head-station —
Which is somewhere ‘off the track’ —
I won't want to talk with angels
Who have never been out back;
They might bother me with offers
Of a banjo — meanin' well —
And a pair of wings to fly with,
When I only want a spell.

I'll just ask for old St. Peter,
And I think, when he appears,
I will only have to tell him
That I carried swag for years.
‘I've been on the track,’ I'll tell him,
‘An' I done the best I could,’
And he'll understand me better
Than the other angels would.




  ― 157 ―
He won't try to get a chorus
Out of lungs that's worn to rags,
Or to graft the wings on shoulders
That is stiff with humpin' swags.
But I'll rest about the station
Where the work-bell never rings,
Till they blow the final trumpet
And the Great Judge sees to things.

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