The Rhyme of the O'Sullivan

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The Rhyme of the O'Sullivan  (1904) 
by Banjo Paterson

Pro Bono Publico
Went out the streets to scan,
And marching to and fro
He met a seedy man,

Who did a tale unfold
In solemn tones and slow
And this is what he told
Pro Bono Publico

"For many years I led
The people's onward march;
I was the 'Fountain Head',
The 'Democratic Arch'.

"In more than regal state
I used to sit and smile,
And bridges I'd donate,
And railways by the mile.

"I pawned the country off
For many million quid,
And spent it like a toff --
So hel me, Bob, I did.

"But now those times are gone,
The wind blows cold and keen;
I sit and think upon
The thing that I have been.

"And if a country town
Its obligation shirks,
I press for money down
To pay for water works.

"A million pounds or two
Was naught at all to me --
And now I have to sue
For paltry £ s d!

"Alas, that such a fate
Should come to such a man,
Who once was called the Great --
The great O'Sullivan!"

With weary steps and slow,
With tears of sympathy
Pro Bono Publico
Went sadly home to tea.

Remarking, as he went,
With sad and mournful brow,
"The cash that party spent --
I wish I had it now!"

This work is is in the public domain because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council (ACC), (Duration of Copyright) (February 2012).