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Joseph Furphy

(1843 - 1912 / Australia)

A Psalm Of Subjection


Nurse your 'unconquerable soul,'
But diligently bear in mind
That Life is not a wayward stroll,
For Circumstance asserts control,
And fiercely prods you up behind.
This dictum you can safely trust —
Growl you may, but Go you must.

Though you may shaft with all your might,
And kick against the goad, like Paul,
Though you may prop, and squeal, and bite,
You still put up a losing fight —
Unconquerable soul, and all.
Still subject to Compulsion's thrust,
Growl you may, but Go you must.

Have done with bluff, for Satan's sake,
A bulrush never can be strong.
You're overmatch'd — make no mistake —
The option is to bend or break;
In either case, you're forced along,
And what avails your cheap disgust?
Growl you may, but Go you must.

In point of fact, your name is Sludge,
And puppet-like your lot is cast,
For though you may rebel and grudge,
And spitefully refuse to budge,
Your claim will be pegg'd out at last.
Sludge to sludge, and dust to dust —
Growl you may, but Go you must.

Next hear St. Peter's challenge keen,
'My son, you've fail'd to nick a goal.
In headstrong wickedness serene,
You fear'd not parson, king or queen;
Your Bible was the BULLYTEEN;
Wherefore, your name is off the roll.
No picnic on these meadows green,
No part in this celestial scene,
For your unconquerable soul.
March down yon steps — the doom is just —
Growl you may, but Go you must.'

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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