Henry Lawson Poems

  • 1.  
    They towed the Seabolt down the stream,
    And through the harbour's mouth; She spread her wings and sailed away
  • 2.  
    O my prow vas plack mit curses,
    Ven I dries to write dose verses; Ven I dries to write dot boem,
  • 3.  
    Whenever I'm moving my furniture in
    Or shifting my furniture out, Which is nearly as often and risky as Sin
  • 4.  
    Sing the strong, proud song of Labour,
    Toss the ringing music high; Liberty's a nearer neighbour
  • 5.  
    Sing the strong, proud song of Labour,
    Toss the ringing music high; Liberty's a nearer neighbour
  • 6.  
    We, three men of commerce,
    Striving wealth to raise, See but little promise
  • 7.  
    Not to the sober and staid,
    Leading a quiet life, But to men whose paths are laid
  • 8.  
    So yer trav'lin' for yer pleasure while yer writin' for the press?
    An' yer huntin' arter "copy"? well, I've heer'd o' that. I guess You are gorn ter write a story that is gorn ter be yer best,
  • 9.  
    "ONE-MAN-ONE-VOTE!" You hear the people shouting.
    The walls of Mammon tremble ere they fall. ONE-MAN-ONE-VOTE! Is this a time for doubting?
  • 10.  
    At a point where the old road crosses
    The river, and turns to the right, I'd camped with the team; and the hosses
  • 11.  
    By the bodies and minds and souls that rot in a common sty
    In the city's offal-holes, where the dregs of its horrors lie; By the prayers that bubble out, but never ascend to God,
  • 12.  
    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
  • 13.  
    They say he was thrown and run over,
    But that is sheer nonsense, of course: I taught him to ride when a kiddy,
  • 14.  
    Though doctors may your name discard
    And say you physicked vilely, I would I were as good a bard
  • 15.  
    When first I came to town, resolved
    To fight my way alone, No prouder foot than mine e'er trod
  • 16.  
    Let us sing a song as not a
    Solitary poet sings, For our seething brain has got a
  • 17.  
    At a point where the old road crosses
    The river, and turns to the right, I'd camped with the team; and the hosses
  • 18.  
    Out in the west, where runs are wide,
    And days than ours are hotter, Not very far from Lachlan Side
  • 19.  
    On the summit of Mount Clarence rotting slowly in the air
    Stands a tall and naked flagstaff, relic of the Russian scare, Russian scare that scares no longer, for the cry is "All is well",
  • 20.  
    There was a tracker in the force
    Of wondrous sight (the story ran):, He never failed to track a horse,
  • 21.  
    Grown tired of mourning for my sins,
    And brooding over merits, The other night with aching heart
  • 22.  
    How oft in public meetings past,
    Where sense was not and talk was loud, We caught a glimpse of long white hair
  • 23.  
    He's gone to England for a wife
    Among the ladies there; And yet I know a lass he deemed
  • 24.  
    Now, Yankee inventors can beat a retreat,
    And German professors may take a back seat, For their colours we're going to lower:
  • 25.  
    The crescent moon and clock tower are fair above the wall
    Across the smothered lanes of 'Loo, the stifled vice and all, And in the shadow yonder, like cats that wait for scraps,
  • 26.  
    I.
    We wrote and sang of a bush we never
  • 27.  
    We, three men of commerce,
    Striving wealth to raise, See but little promise
  • 28.  
    I thought that silence would be best,
    But I a call have heard, And, Victor, after all the rest,
  • 29.  
    The world goes round, old fellow,
    And still I'm in the swim, While my wife's second husband
  • 30.  
    CHAPTER I
    I cannot blame old Israel yet,
  • 31.  
    There's the same old coaching stable that was used by Cobb and Co.,
    And the yard the coaches stood in more than sixty years ago; And the public-private parlour, where they serve the passing swell,
  • 32.  
    We set no right above hers,
    No earthly light nor star, She hath had many lovers,
  • 33.  
    The cross-cut and the crowbar cross, and hang them on the wall,
    And make a greenhide rack to fit the wedges and the maul, The "done" long-handled shovel and the thong-bound axe that fell,
  • 34.  
    Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise;
    And this is a clamour of Victory, and a p├Žan of Ancient Days. It isn't a Yelp of the Battlefield; nor a Howl of the Bounding Wave,
  • 35.  
    When you've got no chance at all,
    Take it fightin'. When you're driven to the wall,
  • 36.  
    'Twas the glowing log of a picnic fire where a red light should not be,
    Or the curtained glow of a sick room light in a window that faced the sea. But the Manly lights seemed the Sydney lights, and the bluffs as the "Heads" were seen;
  • 37.  
    Sing the strong, proud song of Labour,
    Toss the ringing music high; Liberty's a nearer neighbour
  • 38.  
    The nearer camp fires lighted,
    The distant beacons bright, The horsemen on the skyline
  • 39.  
    There was a tracker in the force
    Of wondrous sight (the story ran):, He never failed to track a horse,
  • 40.  
    When you've managed with the tailor for a rig-out of a sort
    And you find the coat or trousers are an inch or so too short, Do not fret and swear and worry, make the tailor see you through,
  • 41.  
    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,
  • 42.  
    The crescent moon and clock tower are fair above the wall
    Across the smothered lanes of 'Loo, the stifled vice and all, And in the shadow yonder, like cats that wait for scraps,
  • 43.  
    Oh, the wild black swans fly westward still,
    While the sun goes down in glory, And away o'er lonely plain and hill
  • 44.  
    I'd been right round by overlands to see the world and life,
    And on the boat at Plymouth I met Johnson and his wife; He was a man who knew the world and wore the know-all smile,
  • 45.  
    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,
  • 46.  
    I mind the days when ladies fair
    Helped on my overcoat, And tucked the silken handkerchief
  • 47.  
    To my fellow sinners all, who, in hope and doubt,
    Through the Commonwealth to-night watch the Old Year out, New Year's Resolutions are jerry-built I know,
  • 48.  
    A blanket low and leaden,
    Though rent across the west, Whose darkness seems to deaden
  • 49.  
    I am back from up the country, very sorry that I went,
    Seeking for the Southern poets' land whereon to pitch my tent; I have lost a lot of idols, which were broken on the track,
  • 50.  
    It was a week from Christmas-time,
    As near as I remember, And half a year since, in the rear,
Total 572 poems written by Henry Lawson

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When the lad for longing sighs,
Mute and dull of cheer and pale,
If at death's own door he lies,
Maiden, you can heal his ail.

Lovers' ills are all to buy:
The wan look, the hollow tone,
The hung head, the sunken eye,
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