Categories
Poetry

Paterson’s Banjo for Wednesday.

We don’t need a Kipple every Wednesday. But at a time when the left has suddenly decided that this nation needs saving because the President does not want his soldiers killed for no reason, and when Australia protests… I want to say they need to read their equivalentof Kipling, who is Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson.

“Ave Ceasar”

Long ago the Gladiators,
When the call to combat came,
Marching past the massed spectators,
Hailed the Emp’ror with acclaim!
Voices ringing with the fury
Of the strife so soon to be,
Cried, “O Caesar, morituri
salutamus te!”

Nowadays the massed spectators
See the unaccustomed sight —
Legislative gladiators
Marching to their last great fight;
Young and old, obscure and famous,
Hand to hand and knee to knee —
Hear the war-cry, “Salutamus
morituri te!”

Fight! Nor be the fight suspended
Till the corpses strew the plain.
Ere the grisly strife be ended
Five and thirty must be slain.
Slay and spare not, lest another
Haply may discomfit thee:
Brother now must war with brother —
“Salutamus te!”

War-torn vet’ran, skilled debater,
Trickster famed of bridge and road,
Now for each grim gladiator
Gapes Oblivion’s drear abode.
Should the last great final jury
Turn their thumbs down — it must be!
“Ave, Caesar, morituri
salutamus te!”

Banjo Paterson, 1904