Spotlight: The Diverting History of John Gilbert (29/10/1863)

Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 – 1900), Thursday 29 October 1863, page 1


THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILBERT.

JOHN GILBERT was a bushranger
Of terrible renown
For sticking lots of people up,
And shooting others down.

John Gilbert said unto his pals,
“Although they make a bobbery
About our tricks, we’ve never done
A tip-top thing in robbery.

We’ve all of us a fancy for
Experiments in pillage;
But never have we seized a town,
Or even sacked a village.”

John Gilbert stated to his mates,
“Though partners we have been
In all rascality, yet we
No festal day have seen.”

John Gilbert said he thought he saw
No obstacle to hinder a
Piratical descent upon
The town of Canowindra.

So into Canowindra town
Rode Gilbert and his men,
And all the Canowindra folk
Subsided there and then.

The Canowindra populace
Cried, “here’s a lot of strangers,”
But suddenly recovered when
They found they were bushrangers.

John Gilbert with his partizans
Said, “Don’t you be afraid —
We are but old companions whom
Rank convicts you have made.”

So Johnny Gilbert says, says he,
“We’ll never hurt a hair
Of men who bravely recognise
That we are just all there.”

The New South Welshmen said at once,
Not making any fuss,
That Johnny Gilbert, after all,
Was “just but one of us.”

So Johnny Gilbert took the town,
And took the public-houses,
And treated all the cockatoos,
And shouted for their spouses.

And Miss O’Flanagan performed,
In manner quite “gintaaly,”
Upon the grand piano for
The bushranger O’Meally.

And every stranger passing by
They took, and when they’d got him,
They robbed him of his money, and
Occasionally shot him.

And Johnny’s enigmatic freak
Admits of this solution,
Bushranging is in New South Wales
A favored institution.

So Johnny Gilbert ne’er allows
An anxious thought to fetch him,
Because he knows that Government
Don’t really want to catch him.

And if such practices should be
To New South Welshmen dear,
With not the least demurring word
Ought we to interfere.

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