Henry Lawson

When You’re Bad In Your Inside By Henry Lawson

When You’re Bad In Your Inside By Henry Lawson

When You’re Bad In Your Inside I remarked that man is saddest, and his heart is filled with woe, When he hasn’t any money, and his pants begin to go; But I think I was mistaken, and there are many times I find When you do not care a candle if your pants are gone behind; For a fellow mostly loses all... »

To An Old Mate By Henry Lawson

To An Old Mate By Henry Lawson

To An Old Mate Old Mate! In the gusty old weather, When our hopes and our troubles were new, In the years spent in wearing out leather, I found you unselfish and true — I have gathered these verses together For the sake of our friendship and you. You may think for awhile, and with reason, Thou... »

The Three Quiet Gentlemen By Henry Lawson

The Three Quiet Gentlemen By Henry Lawson

The Three Quiet Gentlemen There is a quiet gentleman a-motoring in France (Oh, don’t you hear the honking of a British motor-car?)— Like any quiet gentleman that you may meet by chance, Who doesn’t wear a uniform, and doesn’t sport a star. Another quiet gentleman is sitting by his side (Oh, do you h... »

The Separation By Henry Lawson

The Separation By Henry Lawson

The Separation We knew too little of the world, And you and I were good— ’Twas paltry things that wrecked our lives As well I knew they would. The people said our love was dead, But how were they to know? Ah! had we loved each other less We’d not have quarrelled so. We knew too little of the world, ... »

The Old, Old Story And The New Order By Henry Lawson

The Old, Old Story And The New Order By Henry Lawson

The Old, Old Story And The New Order They proved we could not think nor see, They proved we could not write, They proved we drank the day away And raved through half the night. They proved our stars were never up, They’ve proved our stars are set, They’ve proved we ne’er saw sorrow’s cup, And they’r... »

The Labour Agitator By Henry Lawson

The Labour Agitator By Henry Lawson

The Labour Agitator LET the liar call me liar, And the robber call me thief. They can only fan the fire That is born of my belief. While I’m speaking, while I’m writing, To reform the wrongful laws, Well I know that I am fighting For the grand old Cause. See the army of the rebels Marching on for ev... »

The Fairy West By Henry Lawson

The Fairy West By Henry Lawson

The Fairy West I. We wrote and sang of a bush we never Had known in youth in the Western land; Of the dear old homes by the shining river, The deep, clear creeks and the hills so grand. The grass waved high on the flat and siding, The wild flowers bloomed on the banks so fair, And younger sons from ... »

The Boss’s Boots By Henry Lawson

The Boss’s Boots By Henry Lawson

The Boss’s Boots The Shearers squint along the pens, they squint along the ‘shoots;’ The shearers squint along the board to catch the Boss’s boots; They have no time to straighten up, they have no time to stare, But when the Boss is looking on, they like to be aware. The ‘rouser’ has no soul t... »

Success By Henry Lawson

Success By Henry Lawson

Success Did you see that man riding past, With shoulders bowed with care? There’s failure in his eyes to last, And in his heart despair. He seldom looks to left or right, He nods, but speaks to none, And he’s a man who fought the fight— God knows how hard!—and won. No great “review” could rouse him ... »

Rewi To Grey The Old Maori Chief’s Last Message By Henry Lawson

Rewi To Grey The Old Maori Chief’s Last Message By Henry Lawson

Rewi To Grey The Old Maori Chief’s Last Message We have lived till these times, brother, We who lived in this; We have not grown old together, Soon our lives must close – Rewi’s first! For I am dying Ere I got where all is true From my heart a wish is flying – This is my great word to you: Mine to y... »

Nemesis By Henry Lawson

Nemesis By Henry Lawson

Nemesis It is night-time when the saddest and the darkest memories haunt, When outside the printing office the most glaring posters flaunt, When the love-wrong is accomplished. And I think of things and mark That the blackest lies are written, told, and printed after dark. ’Tis the time of “late edi... »

In The Street By Henry Lawson

In The Street By Henry Lawson

In The Street Where the needle-woman toils Through the night with hand and brain, Till the sickly daylight shudders like a spectre at the pain – Till her eyes seem to crawl, And her brain seems to creep – And her limbs are all a-tremble for the want of rest and sleep! It is there the fire-brand blaz... »

For Australia By Henry Lawson

For Australia By Henry Lawson

For Australia Now, with the wars of the world begun, they’ll listen to you and me, Now while the frightened nations run to the arms of democracy, Now, when our blathering fools are scared, and the years have proved us right – All unprovided and unprepared, the Outpost of the White! “Get ... »

Broken Axletree By Henry Lawson

Broken Axletree By Henry Lawson

Broken Axletree On the Track of Grand Endeavour, on the long track out to Bourke, Past the Turn-Back, and past Howlong, and the pub at Sudden Jerk, Past old Bullock-Yoke and Bog Flat, and the “Pinch” at Stick-to-me, Lies the camp that we have christened—christened “Broken Axletree.” We were young an... »

As Far As Your Rifles Cover By Henry Lawson

As Far As Your Rifles Cover By Henry Lawson

As Far As Your Rifles Cover Do you think, you slaves of a thousand years to poverty, wealth and pride, You can crush the spirit that has been free in a land that’s new and wide? When you’ve scattered the last of the farmer bands, and the war for a while is over, You will hold the land – ... »

A Little Mistake By Henry Lawson

A Little Mistake By Henry Lawson

A Little Mistake ’Tis a yarn I heard of a new-chum ‘trap’ On the edge of the Never-Never, Where the dead men lie and the black men lie, And the bushman lies for ever. ’Twas the custom still with the local blacks To cadge in the ‘altogether’— They had less respect for our feelings then, And more resp... »

What Have We All Forgotten By Henry Lawson

What Have We All Forgotten By Henry Lawson

What Have We All Forgotten WHAT have we all forgotten, at the break of the seventh year? With a nation born to the ages and a Bad Time borne on its bier! Public robbing, and lying that death cannot erase— “Private” strife and deception—Cover the bad dead face! Drinking, gambling and madness—Cover an... »

The Way I Treated Father [a Bush Song] By Henry Lawson

The Way I Treated Father [a Bush Song] By Henry Lawson

The Way I Treated Father [a Bush Song] I WORKED with father in the bush At splitting rails and palings. He never was unkind to me, Although he “had his failings:” And now his grave is old and green, And now at times I’m rather Inclined to think ’twas very mean The way I treated father. The mother ha... »

The Squatter, Three Cornstalks, And The Well By Henry Lawson

The Squatter, Three Cornstalks, And The Well By Henry Lawson

The Squatter, Three Cornstalks, And The Well There was a Squatter in the land— So runs the truthful tale I tell— There also were three cornstalks, and There also was the Squatter’s Well. Singing (slowly): “Sin and sorrer, sin and sor-rer, sin and sor-r-r-rer.” The Squatter he was full of pluck, The ... »

The Roaring Days By Henry Lawson

The Roaring Days By Henry Lawson

The Roaring Days The night too quickly passes And we are growing old, So let us fill our glasses And toast the Days of Gold; When finds of wondrous treasure Set all the South ablaze, And you and I were faithful mates All through the roaring days! Then stately ships came sailing From every harbour... »

The Men Who Live It Down By Henry Lawson

The Men Who Live It Down By Henry Lawson

The Men Who Live It Down I have sinned, like others, blindly, without thought and without fear, And my best friends say it kindly, ‘You should go away from here.’ Shall I fly the paltry spirit of a narrow little town, While the battle-drums are beating for the men who live it down? Down the street w... »

The Heart Of The Swag By Henry Lawson

The Heart Of The Swag By Henry Lawson

The Heart Of The Swag Oh, the track through the scrub groweth ever more dreary, And lower and lower his grey head doth bow; For the swagman is old and the swagman is weary— He’s been tramping for over a century now. He tramps in a worn-out old “side spring” and “blucher,” His hat is a ruin, his coat... »

The Day Before I Die By Henry Lawson

The Day Before I Die By Henry Lawson

The Day Before I Die There’s such a lot of work to do, for such a troubled head! I’m scribbling this against a book, with foolscap round, in bed. It strikes me that I’ll scribble much in this way by and by, And write my last lines so perchance the day before I die. There’s lots of things to co... »

The Ballad Of The Rousabout By Henry Lawson

The Ballad Of The Rousabout By Henry Lawson

The Ballad Of The Rousabout A Rouseabout of rouseabouts, from any land—or none— I bear a nick-name of the bush, and I’m—a woman’s son; I came from where I camp’d last night, and, at the day-dawn glow, I rub the darkness from my eyes, roll up my swag, and go. Some take the track for bitter pride, som... »

Shearer’s Song By Henry Lawson

Shearer’s Song By Henry Lawson

Shearer’s Song The season is over; The shearing is done; The wages are paid; and The ‘sprees’ have begun. But never a shanty Gets sight of my cheques; For far down the Murray My Annie expects A heart that is faithful, A head that is clear, And sufficient provisions To last for a year. Hits: 0 »

Out On The Roofs Of Hell By Henry Lawson

Out On The Roofs Of Hell By Henry Lawson

Out On The Roofs Of Hell SING us a song in this cynical age, Sing us a song, my friend, While the Flesh and the Devil are all the rage And Death seems the only end. Give it the clatter of hoof-clipped bones And a note like a dingo’s yell, And the long, low sigh when the big mob moans Out on the roof... »

Middleton’s Rouseabout By Henry Lawson

Middleton’s Rouseabout By Henry Lawson

Middleton’s Rouseabout Tall and freckled and sandy, Face of a country lout; This was the picture of Andy, Middleton’s Rouseabout. Type of a coming nation, In the land of cattle and sheep, Worked on Middleton’s station, `Pound a week and his keep.’ On Middleton’s wide do... »

His Brother’s Keeper By Henry Lawson

His Brother’s Keeper By Henry Lawson

His Brother’s Keeper By his paths through the parched desolation, Hot rides and the terrible tramps; By the hunger, the thirst, the privation Of his work in the further most camps. By his worth in the light that shall search men And prove – ay! And justify each – I place him in front of all churchme... »

Divorced By Henry Lawson

Divorced By Henry Lawson

Divorced TWO COUPLES are drifting the self-same way (Men of the world know well) From the ballroom glare as the night grows grey (Men of the world can tell). Many are round them who know, and knew, But men of the world are blind; That couple in front has nought to do With the couple that comes behin... »

Bill And Jim Fall Out By Henry Lawson

Bill And Jim Fall Out By Henry Lawson

Bill And Jim Fall Out Bill and Jim are mates no longer—they would scorn the name of mate— Those two bushmen hate each other with a soul-consuming hate; Yet erstwhile they were as brothers should be (tho’ they never will): Ne’er were mates to one another half so true as Jim and Bill. Bill was one of ... »

A Voice From The City By Henry Lawson

A Voice From The City By Henry Lawson

A Voice From The City On western plain and eastern hill Where once my fancy ranged, The station hands are riding still And they are little changed. But I have lost in London gloom The glory of the day, The grand perfume of wattle bloom Is faint and far away. Brown faces under broad-brimmed hats The ... »

Written Out By Henry Lawson

Written Out By Henry Lawson

Written Out Sing the song of the reckless, who care not what they do; Sing the song of a sinner and the song of a writer, too— Down in a pub in the alleys, in a dark and dirty hole, With every soul a drunkard and the boss with never a soul. Uncollared, unkempt, unshaven, sat the writer whose fame wa... »

To Victor Daley By Henry Lawson

To Victor Daley By Henry Lawson

To Victor Daley I thought that silence would be best, But I a call have heard, And, Victor, after all the rest, I well might say a word: The day and work is nearly done, And ours the victory, And we are resting, one by one, In graveyards by the sea. But then you talked of other nights, When, gay fro... »

The Vanguard [1] By Henry Lawson

The Vanguard [1] By Henry Lawson

The Vanguard [1] While the crippled cruisers stagger where the blind horizon dips, And the ocean ooze is rising round the sunken battle-ships, While the battered wrecks, unnoticed, with their mangled crews drift past— Let me fire one gun for Russia, though that gun should be the last. ’Tis a struggl... »

The Song Of Old Joe Swallow By Henry Lawson

The Song Of Old Joe Swallow By Henry Lawson

The Song Of Old Joe Swallow When I was up the country in the rough and early days, I used to work along ov Jimmy Nowlett’s bullick-drays; Then the reelroad wasn’t heered on, an’ the bush was wild an’ strange, An’ we useter draw the timber from the saw-pits in the range ... »

The Pavement Stones A Song Of The Unemployed By Henry Lawson

The Pavement Stones A Song Of The Unemployed By Henry Lawson

The Pavement Stones A Song Of The Unemployed WHEN first I came to town, resolved To fight my way alone, No prouder foot than mine e’er trod Upon the pavement stone; But I am one in thousands, And why should I repine? The pavement stones have broken springs In stronger feet than mine. I brought to ai... »

The Lily Of St Leonards By Henry Lawson

The Lily Of St Leonards By Henry Lawson

The Lily Of St Leonards ’TIS sunrise over Watson, Where I sailed out to sea, On that wild run to London That wrecked and ruined me. The beauty of the morning On bluff and point and bay, But the Lily of St Leonards Was fairer than the day. O Lily of St Leonards! And I was mad to roam— She died with l... »

The Gathering Of The Brown-Eyed By Henry Lawson

The Gathering Of The Brown-Eyed By Henry Lawson

The Gathering Of The Brown-Eyed The brown eyes came from Asia, where all mystery is true, Ere the masters of Soul Secrets dreamed of hazel, grey, and blue; And the Brown Eyes came to Egypt, which is called the gypsies’ home, And the Brown Eyes went from Egypt and Jerusalem to Rome. There was strife ... »

The Cambaroora Star By Henry Lawson

The Cambaroora Star By Henry Lawson

The Cambaroora Star So you’re writing for a paper? Well, it’s nothing very new To be writing yards of drivel for a tidy little screw; You are young and educated, and a clever chap you are, But you’ll never run a paper like the CAMBAROORA STAR. Though in point of education I am noth... »

That There Dog O’ Mine By Henry Lawson

That There Dog O’ Mine By Henry Lawson

That There Dog O’ Mine Macquarie the shearer had met with an accident. To tell the truth, he had been in a drunken row at a wayside shanty, from which he had escaped with three fractured ribs, a cracked head, and various minor abrasions. His dog, Tally, had been a sober but savage participator... »

Seaweed, Tussock And Fern By Henry Lawson

Seaweed, Tussock And Fern By Henry Lawson

Seaweed, Tussock And Fern Emblems of storm and danger, Spindrift and mountain stern, Plants that welcome the stranger— Seaweed, tussock, and fern. Known to the world-wide ranger, Who sailed on the “Never Return,” Emblems of storm and danger— Flax and tussock and fern. Plants that welcome the strange... »

Old Stone Chimney By Henry Lawson

Old Stone Chimney By Henry Lawson

Old Stone Chimney The rising moon on the peaks was blending Her silver light with the sunset glow, When a swagman came as the day was ending Along a path that he seemed to know. But all the fences were gone or going— The hand of ruin was everywhere; The creek unchecked in its course was flowing, For... »

Keeping His First Wife Now By Henry Lawson

Keeping His First Wife Now By Henry Lawson

Keeping His First Wife Now IT’S OH! for a rivet in marriage bonds, And a splice in the knot untied— The sanctity of the marriage tie Is growing more sanctified! They’re getting mixed up in society, There’s an awful family row, For Reginald Jones of “The Fernery” Is “keeping” his first wife now! Oh! ... »

Grace Jennings Carmicheal By Henry Lawson

Grace Jennings Carmicheal By Henry Lawson

Grace Jennings Carmicheal I hate the pen, the foolscap fair, The poet’s corner, and the page, For Grief and Death are written there, In every land and every age. The poets sing and play their parts, Their daring cheers, their humour shines, But, ah! my friends! their broken hearts Have writ in blood... »

Cherry- Tree Inn By Henry Lawson

Cherry- Tree Inn By Henry Lawson

Cherry- Tree Inn The rafters are open to sun, moon, and star, Thistles and nettles grow high in the bar — The chimneys are crumbling, the log fires are dead, And green mosses spring from the hearthstone instead. The voices are silent, the bustle and din, For the railroad hath ruined the Cherry... »

Australia’s Peril By Henry Lawson

Australia’s Peril By Henry Lawson

Australia’s Peril We must suffer, husband and father, we must suffer, daughter and son, For the wrong we have taken part in and the wrong that we have seen done. Let the bride of frivolous fashion, and of ease, be ashamed and dumb, For I tell you the nations shall rule us who have let their ch... »

Who’ll Wear The Beaten Colours By Henry Lawson

Who’ll Wear The Beaten Colours By Henry Lawson

Who’ll Wear The Beaten Colours Who’ll wear the beaten colours—and cheer the beaten men? Who’ll wear the beaten colours, till our time comes again? Where sullen crowds are densest, and fickle as the sea, Who’ll wear the beaten colours, and wear them home with me? We closed the bars and gambling dens ... »

To A Pair Of Blucher Boots By Henry Lawson

To A Pair Of Blucher Boots By Henry Lawson

To A Pair Of Blucher Boots OLD acquaintance unforgotten, Though you may be “ugly brutes”— Though your leather’s cracked and rotten, Worn-out pair of Blucher boots. ’Tis the richer man before you, Dearer leathers grace his feet; ’Twas the better man that wore you In the tramps through dust and heat! ... »

The Things We Dare Not Tell By Henry Lawson

The Things We Dare Not Tell By Henry Lawson

The Things We Dare Not Tell The fields are fair in autumn yet, and the sun’s still shining there, But we bow our heads and we brood and fret, because of the masks we wear; Or we nod and smile the social while, and we say we’re doing well, But we break our hearts, oh, we break our hearts!... »

The Shanty On The Rise By Henry Lawson

The Shanty On The Rise By Henry Lawson

The Shanty On The Rise When the caravans of wool-teams climbed the ranges from the West, On a spur among the mountains stood `The Bullock-drivers’ Rest’; It was built of bark and saplings, and was rather rough inside, But ’twas good enough for bushmen in the careless days that died... »

The Old Bark School By Henry Lawson

The Old Bark School By Henry Lawson

The Old Bark School It was built of bark and poles, and the floor was full of holes Where each leak in rainy weather made a pool; And the walls were mostly cracks lined with calico and sacks – There was little need for windows in the school. Then we rode to school and back by the rugged gully-track,... »

The King And Queen And I By Henry Lawson

The King And Queen And I By Henry Lawson

The King And Queen And I Oh, Scotty, have you visited the Picture Gallery, And did you see the portraits of the King and Queen and me? The portraits made by Longstaff, and the pictures done by Jack, Of the King and Queen and Lawson and the lady all in black? The King is robed in royal state, with me... »

The Federal City By Henry Lawson

The Federal City By Henry Lawson

The Federal City OH! the folly, the waste, and the pity! Oh, the time that is flung behind! They are seeking a site for a city, whose eyes shall be always blind, Whose love for their ease grows greater, and whose care for their country less— They are seeking a site for a city—a City of Selfishness. ... »

The Boss Over The Board By Henry Lawson

The Boss Over The Board By Henry Lawson

The Boss Over The Board When he’s over a rough and unpopular shed, With the sins of the bank and the men on his head; When he musn’t look black or indulge in a grin, And thirty or forty men hate him like Sin— I am moved to admit—when the total is scored— That it’s just a bit off for the Boss-of -the... »

Statue Of Robert Burns By Henry Lawson

Statue Of Robert Burns By Henry Lawson

Statue Of Robert Burns To a town in Southern land Light of purse I come and lone; And I pause awhile, and stand By a pedestal of stone; And I bend my head and bow While my heart to Scotland turns, For I know I’m standing now ‘Neath the form of Robbie Burns. Round the corners of the lips Lines of lau... »

Queen Hilda Of Virland By Henry Lawson

Queen Hilda Of Virland By Henry Lawson

Queen Hilda Of Virland PART I Queen Hilda rode along the lines, And she was young and fair; And forward on her shoulders fell The heavy braids of hair: No gold was ever dug from earth Like that burnished there – No sky so blue as were her eyes Had man seen anywhere. ‘Twas so her gay court poet... »

Ned’s Delicate Way By Henry Lawson

Ned’s Delicate Way By Henry Lawson

Ned’s Delicate Way Ned knew I was short of tobacco one day, And that I was too proud to ask for it; He hated such pride, but his delicate way Forbade him to take me to task for it. I loathed to be cadging tobacco from Ned, But, when I was just on the brink of it; ‘I’ve got a new brand of tobacco”, h... »

In The Storm That Is To Come By Henry Lawson

In The Storm That Is To Come By Henry Lawson

In The Storm That Is To Come By our place in the midst of the furthest seas we were fated to stand alone – When the nations fly at each other’s throats let Australia look to her own; Let her spend her gold on the barren west, let her keep her men at home; For the South must look to the S... »

For Ard By Henry Lawson

For Ard By Henry Lawson

For Ard It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep, For there’s near a hundred for’ard, and they’re stowed away like sheep, — They are trav’lers for the most part in a straight ‘n’ honest path; But their linen’s rather scanty, an̵... »

Brighten’s Sister-In-Law [or The Carrier’s Story] By Henry Lawson

Brighten’s Sister-In-Law [or The Carrier’s Story] By Henry Lawson

Brighten’s Sister-In-Law [or The Carrier’s Story] AT A POINT where the old road crosses The river, and turns to the right, I’d camped with the team; and the hosses Was all fixed up for the night. I’d been to the town to carry A load to the Cudgegong; And I’d taken the youngster, Harry, On a tr... »