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Andrew Barton Paterson Poems
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The Ballad of Cockatoo Dock by Andrew Barton Paterson
Of all the docks upon the blue
There was no dockyard, old or new,
To touch the dock at Cockatoo.

Of all the ministerial clan
There was no nicer, worthier man
Than Admiral O'Sullivan.

Of course, we mean E. W.
O'Sullivan, the hero who
Controlled the dock at Cockatoo.

To workmen he explained his views --
"You need not toil unless you choose,
Your only work is drawing screws."

And sometimes to their great surprise
When votes of censure filled the skies
He used to give them all a rise.

"What odds about a pound or two?"
Exclaimed the great E. W.
O'Sullivan at Cockatoo.

The dockyard superintendent, he
Was not at all what he should be --
He sneered at all this sympathy.

So when he gave a man the sack
O'Sullivan got on his track
And straightway went and fetched him back.

And with a sympathetic tear
He'd say, "How dare you interfere,
You most misguided engineer?

"Your sordid manners please amend --
No man can possibly offend
Who has a Member for a friend.

"With euchre, or a friendly rub,
And whisky, from the nearest 'pub',
We'll make the dockyard like a club.

"Heave ho, my hearties, play away,
We'll do no weary work today.
What odds -- the public has to pay!

"And if the public should complain
I'll go to Broken Hill by train
To watch McCarthy making rain."

And there, with nothing else to do
No doubt the great E. W.
Will straightway raise McCarthy's screw.
View Andrew Barton Paterson:  Poems | Biography | Books

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