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Victoria University College Carnival, 1914

"John Bull." Prologue to "Boadicea."

"John Bull." Prologue to "Boadicea."

Behold me! the emblem of great nationality,
Healthy and hearty and ample of girth;
Father of children that boast rationality,
Pick of humanity—salt of the earth!
They say that I'm stodgy and lacking vivacity,
Bourgeois and backward and beefy and dense;
I do not envy their foreign loquacity,
Gibes at my mental and moral expense.
Yes, I am proud of my cerebral density:
Never was greater than I am to-day.
Let 'em glance round at my Empire's immensity—
Sneer in their foreign malodorous way.
Here from old England's secure insularity
Have I gone forth to the east and the west,
Firing the Gospel at naked Barbarity,
Much as he'll swallow and more—than digest.
As soon as the missions have gained solidarity,
Sorted the niggers and softened their hate,
Pushing the platform of faith, hope, and charity,
Cometh a cruiser to let in the state.
I grant them the boon of an intricate polity,
Wet with the ink of my Government brand;
Leave 'em to parder such words as "equality,"
Road up the back-blocks and whack up the land.
Then do the niggers, converted and dilat'ry,
Up and take notice—collect bits of wood.
Let 'em rebel and I call in the milit'ry,
All, understand, for their spiritual good.
The sceptical laughs at my "obvious audity"
Tribute my helping the heathen to greed.
Didn't I preach to them, trouser their nudity?
Bring the ineffable boon of a creed?
He goes on to say that I sap their virility,
Teach them my vices, and that sort of talk.
True, they acquire with surprising agility
The delicate art of extracting a cork.
Drat his impertinence! When did the sceptic
Ever achieve such an Empire as mine?
His proudest effort is laughter dyspeptic
At me, his protector—the cowardly swine!
I don't care a farthing what slander men say of me,
Tricks they get up to, or hurt they intend;
Give them the start of a year and a day of me,
My beef and my backbone will win in the end.
So, behold me the emblem of great nationality!
Healthy and hearty and ample of girth,
Father of children that boast rationality,
Cream of humanity, cream of the earth.

Regent Cigarettes Have No Equal.

page 15

Regent Cigarettes in Beautiful Vest Pocket Tins.