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Collected Poems

Horse Pansies

page 176

Horse Pansies

A Garland of Beautiful Thoughts Some in the Manner of Mr Ogden Nash, and others with no Manners at All by A. R. D. Fairburn who, for the purposes of this outing, wishes to be known as Horace Papjoy.

It's my Laugh or Yours

What sort of a laugh do you laugh?
Do you make a noise like a horse blowing into a bag of chaff?
Do you give vent to great mirthful gusts
Of the kind one associates perhaps with the poet Gray's animated busts?
Or do you titter
Like an Eskimo girl eating a banana fritter?
Does your laugh in any way suggest that something around 30 is your I.Q.?
If so I am afraid that I am not going to like you.

There are all sorts of laughs
And some of them sound like the whinnying of horse-mosquitoes and
others like the bellowing of bull-calfs.
Of all the distressing outward and visible
Signs that a man's feelings are risible,
Nothing so amply justifies the pulling of the trigger
As the snigger;
There are also the chuckle and the hoot;
Which of them is the more nauseating is a point that is moot.
Girls giggle and titter.
If you hear one doing it, walk up to her and hit her.

I like to be solemn
Whether I am writing a book or a newspaper column.
Almost any sort of laughter makes me writhe.
Life is real and life is earnest and it's very bad taste for anybody to
pretend that it is blithe.

I love fish.
Their heads are under water and they can't laugh even if they wish.

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An Old Tale Re-Told

I once knew a girl with a heart like an icicle
Who used to go riding around on a bicycle;
She never would stop when I called out or whistled:
If her eye caught mine she just pouted or bristled.
I loved her red hair and her bright blue socklets,
I wooed her with flowers and I wooed her with chocolates,
I sent her an apple, I sent her a book,
But she never would give me so much as a look.
I fell to despairing, but just at that juncture
I found her one day trying to fix up a puncture;
She had wrestled for hours and had given up trying,
She was just sitting there by the roadside and crying.
I patted her hand, said, 'There's no need to bellow,'
And mended her tyre like a chivalrous fellow.
Then just like a woman, perverse and mercurial,
She smiled a sweet smile and said, 'Please call me Muriel.'
She flung her arms round me and gave me a kiss,
And said she'd been waiting a long time for this.
She said, 'I'm all yours, you can take what you like.'
So I thought for a while — then, of course, took the bike.

Roll Out the Knightcart
A Ballad for the Times

To the tune of 'Waltzing Matilda'

Once a jolly fishmonger, sitting on a heap of guts,
Said to his wife, 'Oh, my dear wife,' said he,
'We've made lots of money, now it's time to make the Honours List —
Who'll come a-hunting a knighthood with me?'

Roll out the knightcart! Roll out the knightcart!
Who'll come a-hunting a knighthood with me?
For it's high time the Government handed me a bloody gong —
Who'll come a-hunting a knighthood with me?

Up jumped an editor, glad to help at chivalry,
For he had some thoughts of a knighthood, too;
He said, 'Mr Fishmonger, what a lot of guts you've got —
I'll come a-hunting a knighthood with you!'

page 178

refrain: Roll out…etc.

Then said the fishmonger,'What'll take my smell away?
The pong of my guts is too strong, you'll agree —
What'll make me smell a little less like a lavatory
When you come a-hunting a knighthood with me?'

refrain: Roll out…etc.

'Don't be afraid,' said the lofty-minded editor,
'We'll spray you from head to foot with stale printer's ink,
You won't smell of guts when I've finished with my eulogy,
With bright purple prose I shall cover up your stink.'

refrain: Roll out…etc.

'Thanks,' said the fishmonger, taking out his handkerchief,
'Thanks from the heart of my bottom,' quavered he,
And he wiped from his eyes and nose tears of gratitude,
'Thanks for the knighthood you'll jack up for me.'


Jack up! Jack up! Jack up the knightcart!
Who'll come a-hunting a knighthood with me?
For I've always backed the Party up, it's time I had a bloody gong—
Who'll come a-hunting a knighthood with me?

(Slowly and sadly)

Jack got his knighthood, but O, what a tragedy —
The high-minded editor's ink was spilled in vain;
For in spite of the knighthood, in spite of all the purple prose,
Jack on the knightcart still smelt like a drain!

Refrain (with gutso)
Roll out the knightcart! Roll out the knightcart!
Who'll come a-hunting a knighthood with me?
For we'll get our bloody gongs now they've changed the bloody Government —
Who'll Come a-Hunting a Knighthood with me?

page 179

Sociological Jotting

Life in the slums is quite dreadful.
Unless there are 7 or 8 sleeping in a bed together they don't reckon they have a bedful.

As for the people who are just lousy with money,
They each have a bed but sometimes they don't
sleep in them, which when you come to think
about it is distinctly funny.

It's been Keeping me Awake in the Afternoons

If wharfage
Is what you pay for using a wharf,
And haulage
Is the cost of getting things hauled,
And railage
Is the charge for using the railway.
Why isn't cabbage
What you give to the taxi-driver,
And garbage
The money you eventually hand over to your tailor?

We've Got the 'Herald' in the Morning and the 'Star' at Night

Try this over on your piano

introduction and Verse
Taking stock of all the things they publish,
What do I find?
They say such things, their souls must be imperilled.
Taking stock of all their useless rubbish,
What do I find?
A useful purpose for the 'Star' and 'Herald'.

page 180

They've got horses, they've got cars,
They've got baches with cocktail bars —
They sell the 'Herald' in the morning and the 'Star' at night.
They've bought mansions, bought a yacht,
All by selling us priceless rot
In the 'Herald' each morning and the 'Star' each night.

Dailies are not meant to read;
We've got everything we need.
On town supply or septic tanks,
We'd all like to express our thanks —
We've got the 'Herald' in the morning and the 'Star' at night!

With the 'Herald' in the morning and the 'Star' at night
We're All Right!

An Open Invitation to all Decent, Tea-drinking New ZealandersTake Glover Apart!

[Inscribed on a heavily visceral anatomy chart]

Then Come, Lads, tear him limb from limb
And tripe by tripe unravel him,
Let's catch him Bending, fix the Date
When he shall meet his well-earned Fate.
Your vegetable Hate should grow
Vaster than Empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to prise
His Eyelids from his bloodshot Eyes,
Two hundred to unlock his Chest,
But thirty thousand to the rest.
An Age at least to Light and Lung,
And the last Age should show his Bung.
For Glover he deserves this State—
Up-end him, Lads, and fix his Date!

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