The Other Gum

Henry Lawson, 1893

      Well Boory, I have read your "grin",
      And listened to your whine;
      I only wish you'd sent it in
      Before I printed mine.
      You see, I never meant to hit
      The new-chum Jackaroo;
      I only tried to write a skit
      On poets — such as you.
      We're sinners all — the world knows that,
      But damned mean sinners some —
      (The 'possum you are barking at
      is up the other gum).

      But sneer in safety if you choose
      I've no hand in the game;
      I will not fight the crawlers who's
      Afraid to sign his name.
      I never strike without a mark —
      'Tis safer in the end;
      For he who hits back in the dark
      Might chance to hurt a 'friend'!
      The game is stale, your jokes are flat,
      You might as well be dumb —
      (The 'possum you are howling at
      Is up another gum).

      The Truth, 1893