William Thomas Goodge was born in London in 1862, the son of a Law Courts clerk. and arrived in Sydney in 1882 after working his passage aboard the ship 'The Cathay' as a steward. His first job on his arrival in Sydney was with one of Cobb & Co's properties - Windagee Station in Western New South Wales.
He roamed around outback New South Wales for twelve years before settling into life as a jounalist.He began to contribute verses to the Dubbo Express and later was offered a full-time job as a reporter and writer of verse for the Lithgow Mercury. For a time he was Editor of the Orange Leader while contributing to the now famous Bulletin. For the nine years prior to his death he wrote a weekly piece for the Sydney Truth concerning the actions of an imaginery drinking group, the Gimcrack Club. During his lifetime he published only one collection of poems: Hits! Skits! and Jingles! in 1899. Norman Lindsay considered him one of Australia's best writers of light verse.
A prolific and highly respected writer, W.T. Goodge died suddenly in Sydney in 1909 aged forty seven.
"You talk of snakes," said Jack the Rat,
"But blow me, one hot summer,
I seen a thing that knocked me flat -
Fourteen foot long or more than that,
The baker-man was kneading dough
And whistling softly, sweet and lough.
Yet ever and anon he'd cough
The preacher quoted, and the cranks
Among his congregation smiled,
"How sharper than a serpent's thanks
It is to have a toothless child."
"Tis the everyday Australian
Has a language of his own,
Has a language, or a slanguage,
Which can simply stand alone.