Bloody hat

Bloody hat

I’m reading Robert Graves’ Lars Posena at the moment – as concise and poetical a treaty about swearing in the inter-war years as you could hope to meet. I’ve just run across this gem:

“The popular [WW1] satire entitled simply The Australian Poem, and satirizing the adjectival barrenness* of the Australian forces in the War, will be recalled:

“The sunburnt bloody stockman stood,
And, in a dismal, bloody mood,
Apostrophized his bloody cuddy:
“This bloody moke’s no bloody good,
He doesn’t earn his bloody food.
Bloody! Bloody! Bloody!

“He leapt upon his bloody horse,
And galloped off, of bloody course.
The road was wet and bloody muddy:
It led him to the bloody creek;
The bloody horse was bloody weak,
‘Bloody! Bloody! Bloody!’

“He said, “The bloody steed must swim,
The same for me as bloody him!”
The creek was deep and bloody floody.
So ere he reached the bloody bank
The bloody steed beneath him sank -The stockman’s face a bloody study
Ejaculating Bloody! Bloody! Bloody!”

Bloody brilliant!

*“Adjectival barrenness” – roll that around on your tongue a couple of times. Lovely, isn’t it?