The Apologist

Dear friends, I'm Deakin....
No; no mistake,
You're wide awake.
It's ALF that's speakin'...
I wish to make
A few remarks about - Eh? What,
O, no; I'm not
The least bit changed.
It's been arranged -
You understand?
Between these gentlemen and me.
We fused, you see,
For the - er - welfare of the land....
Come, gentlemen! I do insist
I am the same!
I'm DEAKIN, the Protectionist.
And I declare I'm not to blame.
There never has been any change in me.
It's all arranged.... We fused, you see.
No harm to fuse.
And I am certain you'll excuse
Us all, when once you fairly grasp the fact
That this arrangement is a patriot's act.
'Twas neither somersault nor slip;
'Twas statesmanship....
Yes, yes. Joe Cook
And others took
A pledge.
As I allege,
Henceforth to vote Protection to a man....
Well, yes; they ran
Freetrade - some years ago;
But they won't advocate it now. Oh, no!...
I say again I've not changed in the least.
I leave that all to them.
Their love for the - er - tariff has increased.
Ahem!....
What? Wobblers? Nay!
Ah, do not blame them, pray!
These gentlemen are neither false nor weak;
But my good friends.
And they will make amends.
A light has broken on them, so to speak.
They're all - er - fiscal converts as it were....
Now, my dear sir!
If you will interject
Time and again,
How can the audience expect
Me to explain?...
I tell you I've NOT changed!
It's ALL ARRANGED!
Why, ever since I've been in politics
I've always advocated the - um - er ...
What nonsense! Sir!!
Tricks!
ME!!!
I challenge you to prove my policy
Has ever been... Well, yes,
Yes, I confess
I used to call them names. But, don't you see,
That is a thing of ancient history....
I tell you it has now all been arranged!
And I've not changed!...
O, well, well, I admit
I did abuse them - just a little bit.
'The wreckage of all parties' - That was it.
'Black Labor party' - yes, and 'Tories,' too.
I said that; true.
But can't you see? I ask you, please, to try.
They've changed, not I.
They've had a wash;
They've all been made
Whiter than snow ( I'm sure you understand):
And henceforth Anti-Sosh,
And not Freetrade,
Will be their party brand.
But, to return to my....Eh? Who's that speakin'?
I tell you I am Deakin!
Who dares to say I'm not?
I am the same brave, whole-souled patriot!
Iam! I AM!
if you will interject... O, d--!....
Er - gentlemen...I'd have you understand
We are a band
Of staunch Protectionists. If it appears
A trifle strange
That, after all these years,
These gentlemen should change,
I ask you, gentlemen, to please excuse
The Fuse.
You comprehend? I wave my magic wand,
And they respond
By bowing meekly to my fiscal creed.
Nay, nay! No Greed
For Office caused this unaccustomed sight.
'Twas...Country-love and - er - a Sudden Light.
These friends of mine have all come into line,
And, after this, their fiscal faith is mine -
That is...I mean to say
That mine is theirs until the Judgement Day.
I trust, good people, I have made it plain....
No, no; my friends will never change again....
I tell you, with my hand upon my heart,
They would no more trick me than, for my part, I'd ever do
So false an act, or think of tricking...you.

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"The Apologist" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 12 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6559/the-apologist>.

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