We read in the press that Lord Northcote is here
To take up Lord Tennyson's mission.
'Tis pleasant to find they have sent us a Peer,
And a man of exalted position.
It's his business to see that the Radical horde
From loyalty's path does not swerve us;
But his tastes, and the task, don't seem quite in accord
For they say that His Lordship is nervous.
Does he think that wild animals walk in the street,
Where the wary marsupial is hopping?
Does he think that the snake and the platypus meet
And "bail up" the folk who go shopping?
And that boomerangs fly round the scared passer-by
Who has come all this way to observe us.
While the blackfellow launches a spear at his eye?
--No wonder His Lordship is nervous.
Does he think that with callers he'll be overtasked,
From a baronet down to a barber?
Does he dream of the number of times he'll be asked
"What he thinks of our Beautiful Harbour?"
Does he sadly reflect on the sorrows that ding
Round his task? (From such sorrows preserve us!)
He must hear John See speak and O'Sullivan sing,
--It's enough to make any man nervous.
Does he think he'll be waked in the dead of the night
From Melbourne to go willy-nilly,
To live at the Federal Capital site
At Tumut or Wagra-go-billy?
Well, the Melbournites may let the Capital go
(Here we wink with one eye, please observe us!)
But not in a hurry! By no means! Oh, no!
He has not the least need to be nervous!
The Evening News, 26 January 1904
Title: Collected Poetry Author: Andrew Barton Paterson