The Poetry Corner

The Pannikin Poet

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

There's nothing here sublime, But just a roving rhyme, Run off to pass the time, With nought titanic in. The theme that it supports, And, though it treats of quarts, It's bare of golden thoughts, It's just a pannikin. I think it's rather hard That each Australian bard, Each wan, poetic card, With thoughts galvanic in His fiery thought alight, In wild aerial flight, Will sit him down and write About a pannikin. He makes some new-chum fare From out his English lair To hunt the native bear, That curious mannikin; And then the times get bad That wandering English lad Writes out a message sad Upon his pannikin: "O mother, think of me Beneath the wattle tree" (For you may bet that he Will drag the wattle in) "O mother, here I think That I shall have to sink, There ain't a single drink The water-bottle in." The dingo homeward hies, The sooty crows uprise And caw their fierce surprise A tone Satanic in; And bearded bushmen tread Around the sleeper's head, "See here, the bloke is dead! Now where's his pannikin?" They read his words and weep, And lay him down to sleep Where wattle branches sweep, A style mechanic in; And, reader, that's the way The poets of today Spin out their little lay About a pannikin.