THE ‘CAT’

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 23rd February 2008, 00:00

It’s easy to talk about Justice,
in words wot are glib-like an’ pat:
when you’re tied to the rack,
wiv a strap round yer back,
you’ve got more’n respect for the ‘cat’.

There’s ‘screws’ wiv the ‘Quack’ an the Guv’nor,
there’s a couple of ’ospital blokes:
’ow I envy the wretches
wot’s doin’ life ‘stretches’,
as I waits for the first of the strokes.

I thought I was tough an’ could take it,
I’m a fella of ’eavy-weight build:
but surprised be the shock
of the first bloomin’ knock,
I just gotta admit that I squealed.

Then I ’ears a swishin’ be’ind me,
an’ I sets me teeth firmer than bone:
tho’ the second’s as bad
as the first ’un I ’ad,
I don’t give ’em no more than a moan.

By the third ’un I’m ready to murder
those ’eathens they won’t let me see:
who for increase in pay
plus a extra ’alf day
are torturing life outa me.

This secret’s a part of the business,
so I curses ’em vicious and loud:
then the ruddy fourth stroke
sort of makes me ’alf choke,
but I swears just to show I ain’t cowed.

For eight strokes I faces the music,
each note is a strip of me ’ide:
’til the ’ot crushing pain
is too much fer me brain,
causin’ me to go out – to the wide.

It’s easy to talk about Justice,
in words wot are glib-like an’ pat:
when your back’s full of ruts
where the lashes made cuts,
you’ve got more’n respect for the ‘cat’.

So take heed O robbers with violence,
lest the Hour be too late to repine:
and you too hear the sigh
of the thongs drawing nigh,
and the Law saying “Vengeance is mine”.

T. C. Hudson
1939

© T. C. Hudson.

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