LADIES and gents, you are here assembled
To hear why earth and heaven trembled
Because of the black and sinister arts
Of an Irish writer in foreign parts.
He sent me a book ten years ago.
I read it a hundred times or so,
Backwards and forwards, down and up,
Through both the ends of a telescope.
I printed it all to the very last word
But by the mercy of the Lord
The darkness of my mind was rent
And I saw the writers foul intent.
But I owe a duty to Ireland:
I held her honour in my hand,
This lovely land that always sent
Her writers and artists to banishment
And in a spirit of Irish fun
Betrayed her own leaders, one by one.
Twas Irish humour, wet and dry,
Flung quicklime into Parnells eye;
Tis Irish brains that save from doom
The leaky barge of the Bishop of Rome
For everyone knows the Pope cant belch
Without the consent of Billy Walsh.
O Ireland my first and only love
Where Christ and Caesar are hand and glove!
O lovely land where the shamrock grows!
(Allow me, ladies, to blow my nose)
To show you for strictures I dont care a button
I printed the poems of Mountainy Mutton
And a play he wrote (youve read it Im sure)
Where they talk of bastard, bugger and whore
And a play on the Word and Holy Paul
And some womans legs that I cant recall
Written by Moore, a genuine gent
That lives on his propertys ten per cent:
I printed mystical books in dozens:
I printed the table-book of Cousins
Though (asking your pardon) as for the verse
Twould give you a heartburn on your arse:
I printed folklore from North and South
By Gregory of the Golden Mouth:
I printed poets, sad, silly and solemn:
I printed Patrick What-do-you-Colm:
I printed the great John Milicent Synge
Who soars above on an angels wing
In the playboy shift that he pinched as swag
From Maunsels managers travelling-bag.
But I draw the line at that bloody fellow
|That was over here dressed in Austrian
Spouting Italian by the hour
To OLeary Curtis and John Wyse Power
And writing of Dublin, dirty and dear,
In a manner no blackamoor printer could bear.
Shite and onions! Do you think Ill print
The name of the Wellington Monument,
Sydney Parade and Sandymount tram,
Downess cakeshop and Williamss jam?
Im damned if I do - Im damned to blazes!
Talk about Irish Names of Places!
Its a wonder to me, upon my soul,
He forgot to mention Curlys Hole.
No, ladies, my press shall have no share in
So gross a libel on Stepmother Erin.
I pity the poor - thats why I took
A red-headed Scotchman to keep my book.
Poor sister Scotland! Her doom is fell;
She cannot find any more Stuarts to sell.
My conscience is fine as Chinese silk:
My heart is as soft as buttermilk.
Colm can tell you I made a rebate
Of one hundred pounds on the estimate
I gave him for his Irish Review.
I love my country - by herrings I do!
I wish you could see what tears I weep
When I think of the emigrant train and ship.
Thats why I publish far and wide
My quite illegible railway guide,
In the porch of my printing institute
The poor and deserving prostitute
Plays every night at catch-as-catch-can
With her tight-breeched British artilleryman
And the foreigner learns the gift of the gab
From the drunken draggletail Dublin drab.
Who was it said: Resist not evil?
Ill burn that book, so help me devil.
Ill sing a psalm as I watch it burn
And the ashes Ill keep in a one-handled urn.
Ill penance do with farts and groans
Kneeling upon my marrowbones.
This very next lent I will unbare
My penitent buttocks to the air
And sobbing beside my printing press
My awful sin I will confess.
My Irish foreman from Bannockburn
Shall dip his right hand in the urn
And sign crisscross with reverent thumb
Memento homo upon my bum.