A Speech Reported
The Speaker, September 29, 1900
In Birmingham among my own
Dear people I appear,
For I was born at Camberwell,
Not very far from here.
And if you choose another man,
My public life is closed:
But you will find it difficult,
For I am unopposed.
Have we not armies at the front
Whom we can turn to mobs?
Who, for their love of Me, have shown
Some deference to Bobs.
They're sensitive; and if they knew
Their Joseph had been hissed,
They'd have no nerve to strike the foe
Who now does not exist.
Sir Robert Reid thinks men depraved
Who differ from him. I
Have no such thoughts- beyond distrust
Of their sincerity.
I seldom call them "traitors" even:
I turn, with grace sufficient,
The "other cheek"- a thing in which
I never was deficient.
I challenged them, as they've replied
I challenge them again
To name my words provocative,
For why should "Sponge" give pain?
"Sponge" is a cool and cleanly thing,
And serves our nation well,
And on my private slate
I find it is invaluable.