GIMME the town an' its clamour an' clutter;
I ain't very fond of the bush;
For my cobbers are coves of the gardens and gutter--
A tough metropolitan push.
I ain't never too keen on the countryfied life;
It's the hustle an' bustle for me an' me wife.
So I swagger an' strut an' I cuss an' I swagger;
I'm wise to the city's hard way.
A bit of a bloke an' a bit of a bragger;
I've always got plenty to say.
Learned thro' knockin' about since my people came out
From the land at the back of Bombay.
When out in the bush I am never a ranger;
There never ain't nothin' to see.
Besides, them bush birds got no time for a stranger;
So town an' the traffic for me.
I sleep in the gardens an' loaf in the street,
An' sling off all day at the fellers I meet.
An' I swagger an' scold an' strut an' I swagger,
An' pick up me fun where I can,
Or tell off me wife, who's a bit of a nagger,
Or scrap with the sparrers for scran.
A bonzer at bluffin', I give you my word,
For, between you an' me, I'm a pretty tough bird.
The Indian Myna
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
The Singing Garden (1935) p.139.