Andrew Barton Paterson

(17 February 1864 – 5 February 1941 / New South Wales)

The Incantation


Scene: Federal Political Arena
A darkened cave. In the middle, a cauldron, boiling.
Enter the three witches.
1ST WITCH: Thrice hath the Federal Jackass brayed.

2ND WITCH: Once the Bruce-Smith War-horse neighed.

3RD WITCH: So Georgie comes, 'tis time, 'tis time,
Around the cauldron to chant our rhyme.

1ST WITCH: In the cauldron boil and bake
Fillet of a tariff snake,
Home-made flannels -- mostly cotton,
Apples full of moths, and rotten,
Lamb that perished in the drought,
Starving stock from "furthest out",
Drops of sweat from cultivators,
Sweating to feed legislators.
Grime from a white stoker's nob,
Toiling at a nigger's job.
Thus the great Australian Nation,
Seeks political salvation.

ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

2ND WITCH: Heel-taps from the threepenny bars,
Ash from Socialist cigars.
Leathern tongue of boozer curst
With the great Australian thirst,
Two-up gambler keeping dark,
Loafer sleeping in the park --
Drop them in to prove the sequel,
All men are born free and equal.

ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

3RD WITCH:Lung of Labour agitator,
Gall of Isaacs turning traitor;
Spleen that Kingston has revealed,
Sawdust stuffing out of Neild;
Mix them up, and then combine
With duplicity of Lyne,
Alfred Deakin's gift of gab,
Mix the gruel thick and slab.

ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble,
Heav'n help Australia in her trouble.

HECATE: Oh, well done, I commend your pains,
And everyone shall share i' the gains,
And now about the cauldron sing,
Enchanting all that you put in.
Round about the cauldron go,
In the People's rights we'll throw,
Cool it with an Employer's blood,
Then the charm stands firm and good,
And thus with chaos in possession,
Ring in the coming Fed'ral Session.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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