Henry Lawson

17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales

The Three Quiet Gentlemen

There is a quiet gentleman a-motoring in France
(Oh, don’t you hear the honking of a British motor-car?)—
Like any quiet gentleman that you may meet by chance,
Who doesn’t wear a uniform, and doesn’t sport a star.
Another quiet gentleman is sitting by his side
(Oh, do you hear the “shuffling feet” tonight in Gay Paree?)—
The honking of their motor-car, when they go for a ride,
Is louder than the biggest gun that’s made in Germany.
Another quiet gentleman, who’s very like the first
(Oh, don’t you hear the tinkle of the sleigh-bells on the snow?)
Is riding out in Russia now to watch the best and worst.
Oh, hear the bells of Petrograd a-ringing soft and low—
The Christmas bells of Petrograd, that hail the birth of Christ;
The sleigh-bells from the opera that hail the birth of Sin—
While eyes of men are dried in Hell and hearts of men are iced—
Are louder than the loudest blare that’s blaring in Berlin.
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