Rio Grande and other Verses

Tar and Feathers

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

        OH! the circus swooped down
        On the Narrabri town,
For the Narrabri populace moneyed are;
        And the showman he smiled
        At the folk he beguiled
To come all the distance from Gunnedah.

        But a juvenile smart,
        Who objected to ‘part’,
Went in ‘on the nod’, and to do it he
        Crawled in through a crack
        In the tent at the back,
For the boy had no slight ingenuity.

        And says he with a grin,
        ‘That’s the way to get in;
But I reckon I’d better be quiet or
        They’ll spiflicate me,’
        And he chuckled, for he
Had the loan of the circus proprietor.

        But the showman astute
        On that wily galoot
Soon dropped—you’ll say that he leathered him—
        Not he; with a grim
        Sort of humorous whim,
He took him and tarred him and feathered him.

        Says he, ‘You can go
        Round the world with a show,
And knock every Injun and Arab wry;
        With your name and your trade,
        On the posters displayed,
The feathered what-is-it from Narrabri.’

        Next day for his freak,
        By a Narrabri beak,
He was jawed with a deal of verbosity;
        For his only appeal
        Was ‘professional zeal’—
He wanted another monstrosity.

        Said his worship, ‘Begob!
        You are fined forty bob,
And six shillin’s costs to the clurk!’ he says.
        And the Narrabri joy,
        Half bird and half boy,
Has a ‘down’ on himself and on circuses.

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