English poetry

Poems in English

Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill

My Uncle Bill! My Uncle Bill!
How doth my heart with anguish thrill!
For he, our chief, our Robin Hood,
Has gone to jail for stealing wood!
With tears and sobs my voice I raise
To celebrate my uncle’s praise;
With all my strength, with all my skill,
I’ll sing the song of Uncle Bill.”
Convivial to the last degree,
An open-hearted sportsman he.
Did midnight howls our slumbers rob,
We said, “It’s uncle ‘on the job’.”
When sounds of fight rang sharply out,
Then Bill was bound to be about,
The foremost figure in “the scrap”,
A terror to the local “trap”.
To drink, or fight, or maim, or kill,
Came all alike to Uncle Bill.
And when he faced the music’s squeak
At Central Court before the beak,
How carefully we sought our fob
To pay his fine of forty bob!
Recall the happy days of yore
When Uncle Bill went forth to war!
When all the street with strife was filled
And both the traps got nearly killed.
When the lone cabman on the stand
Was “stoushed” by Bill’s unaided hand,
And William mounted, filled with rum,
And drove the cab to kingdom come.
Remember, too, that famous fray
When the “Black-reds”, who hold their sway
O’er Surry Hills and Shepherd’s Bush,
Descended on the “Liver Push”.
Who cheered both parties long and loud?
Who heaved blue metal at the crowd!
And sooled his bulldog, Fighting Bet,
To bite, haphazard, all she met?
And when the mob were lodged in gaol
Who telegraphed to me for bail?
And here I think he showed his sense
Who calmly turned Queen’s evidence?”

Enough! I now must end my song,
My needless anguish, why prolong?
From what I’ve said, you’ll own, I’m sure,
That Uncle Bill was pretty “pure”,
So, rowdies all, your glasses fill,
And drink it standing “Uncle Bill”.”



Poem Uncle Bill - Andrew Barton Paterson