Location: The People's Magazine (1867). ISG BQ828.8
Punch and Judy.
(A true incident in Melbourne life about fourteen years ago.)
From the north, across the ocean,
Once a strolling player came;
For in over-busy England
There was neither food nor fame.
He had shown his Punch and Judy
At a score of village fairs;
Few were now the public's pennies,
Many were the showman's carers.
Then he heardof foreign countries,
Of a land where all was new,
Where the pence were found in plenty,
And the shows and showmen few.
So he took a weary voyage-
To this land of hope he sped
And in reckless, busy Melbourne,
Hoped to find his daily bread.
Ah! the showman's heart was beating
As the careless crowd passed by;
Underneath a comic seeming
What a world of care may lie!
Now the puppets all are ready,
And the poor old show begins,
Telling in the new-built city,
All the list of Punch's sins.
And the crowd comes to a standstill,
One by one their eyes are caught,
"What!" a Punch! Old Punch in Melbourne!
"Oh! how near old times are brought!"
Closer comes a bearded bushman,
Rough - a colonist for years-
O'er the hard blue southern heaven
Spreads a dimness like to tears.
Once again a little schoolboy,
In the foggy London streets,
He is idling at the corner,
Just to look at Punch's feats.
He can almost feel the satchel
That his mother buckled on;
She is growing old in England
Praying for her absent son.
By his side a wealthy trader,
Clever, canny in his ways,
Deigns a laugh at the old story,
Known in fairer, younger days.
When to him and to his sisters,
In a little country town,
Where the shows were very scanty,
Punch, one day, had travelled down.
Gentle Amy cried for pity,
Merry Alice laughed for glee;
Now between them and their brother
Roll all those long miles of sea.
Now a girl comes quickly past them,
Hides her eyes and slips away;
And a boy, sometimes forgetful,
Writes his letter home to-day.
One and all are pressing nearer,
Cold, hard eyes with tears are wet;
"'Tis so far away from England
Long years pass and we forget."
"Pay him all we have to give him,
Easily are nuggets won!
"Pay him well - he comes from England
Fill the hat- quick - pass it on."
So the showman made his fortune,
While his hearers went their way,
Finding once, amid their hurry,
Time to feel and time to pray. (Christabel R. Coleridge)