Archive for April 2nd, 2015

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Paid to Doodlekine, W.A. by Alfred George Stephens

Roll a red tongue that riots in the pride
Of vowels strong, sonorous as the sea;
Gorge a rich ear that will not be denied
Its ravishment of royal melody;
Yet Aspromont and Montalban no more
Vie with Morocco or with Trebizond,
And Charlemagne on Fontarabia’s shore
Shall know his syllables no longer conned:
Their glory and their majesty are thine,
And thou art ours, heroic Doodlekine!

That blessed word Mesopotamia,
In Whitfield’s mouth, made even butchers weep;
Atchafalaya has been murmured far
And wide by devotees in poppied sleep;
But what avails the immemorial noise
And outcry of Castile and Aragon?
Can Connemara give us former joys?
Can Oonalaska still demand the bun?
As stars before the Day their light resign,
These yield and worship thee, O Doodlekine!

Many go hence upon a glittering quest,
Leaving the cherished girls, the friendly home;
Their hearts beat high with Youth (young men go West)
And sickly they affront the roaring foam;
They pass the Lioness, Rottnest they spurn,
Then vanish down the vista of the years . . . .
We mourn in vain: they never may return;
For thou hast poured thy spelling in their ears.
The magic of that spell is like strong wine—
Would thou wert East, delirious Doodlekine!

From: Stephens, A. G, The Pearl and the Octopus and Other Exercises in Prose and Verse, 2003, University of Sydney Library: Sydney, p. 55.

Date: 1911

By: Alfred George Stephens (1865-1933)