The Carrier's Story Or, Brighten's Sister-in-law Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


At a point where the old road crossesA
The river and turns to the rightB
I'd camped with the team and the hossesA
Was all fixed up for the nightB
I'd been to the town to carryC
A load to the CudgegongD
And I'd taken the youngster HarryC
On a trip as I'd promis'd him longD
I had seven more and anotherE
That died at the age of threeC
But they all took arter the motherE
And Harry took arter meC
And from the tiniest laddieB
'Twas always his fondest dreamF
To go on the roads with his daddyB
And help him to drive the teamF
He was bright at the school and cleverE
The best of the youngsters thereG
And the teacher said there was neverE
A lad that promised so fairG
And I half forgot life's battleH
An' its long hard beaten roadB
In the sound of the youngster's prattleH
From his perch on top o' the loadB
An' when he was tired o' ridin'I
I'd lift him down for a walkD
And he'd say at my silence chidin'I
Now daddy tell me some talkD
And oft by the camp fire sittin'I
When the bush was round us wildB
I'd yarn by the hour forgittin'I
That Harry was only a childB
But to day he'd been strange and quietB
An' lay on the chaff bags stillJ
An' though he'd bravely deny itB
I know'd as the boy was illJ
He said he was only doseyA
In his queer old fashioned wayK
And I fixed him up warm an' coseyA
In the hammock under the drayK
I fried him some eggs and some bakin'I
Which I couldn't git him to touchL
And it set my heart a achinI
For he'd always eaten so muchL
I wandered about half sillyA
And thought that my heart would stopM
And the tea got cold in the billyA
For I couldn't 'a' tasted a dropM
I'd seen the same sickness of'enI
An' my spirits began to droopN
For as soon as he started coughin'I
I know'd as he'd got the croupN
'Twas fifteen mile to the riverE
An' Gulgong was twenty fiveO
An' I thought 'twas a chance if everE
I got him back home aliveO
The thought of the loss was horridB
If the young 'un was taken awayK
And I went and leaned my foreheadB
Against the tire o' the drayK
And sudden I started cryin'I
And sobbed like a woman tooB
For I felt that the boy was dyin'I
And I didn't know what to doB
All helpless I was and lonelyA
But I thought 'twas a coward's cryP
To call on the Saviour onlyA
When trouble or death was nighP
But after a while I liftedB
My eyes to the steely blueB
Of the sky where somethin' driftedB
Like a great white cockatooB
An' nearer it came and nearerE
Right down to the branch of the treeA
And it seemed when its shape grew clearerE
Like the form of a woman to meA
For a moment it seemed to tarryA
An' p'int away up the roadB
An' then seemed pintin' at HarryA
A coughin' beneath the loadB
I don't want ter arger there's chancesA
The vision was only the skyP
Or the smoke outlin'd on the branchesA
Or a lonely cloud on highP
But I says 'twas a message from gloryA
I sees as yer goin' to chaffQ
Just wait till I done my storyA
An' laugh if yer want to laughQ
Away went the vision flyin'I
Up into the blue it wentB
And I stood for a minute tryin'I
To think what its comin' meantB
When it flashed on my brain like lightnin'I
An' arter I thought it strangeR
I'd almost forgotten old BrightenI
Who lived on the top of the rangeR
He lived on a small selectionI
Or used ter live there I know'dB
An' it lay in a west directionI
'Bout five miles back from the roadB
I harnessed the horses quickerE
Than ever I'd taken 'em outB
An' they must 'a' thought me in liquorE
For the way as I shov'd 'em aboutB
I'd allers bin fond o' sneerin'I
An' laughin' at women's waysA
I could see in their lives I'm fearin'I
But little as called for praiseA
But now when I thought he'd smotherE
With croup in the lonely wildB
Good God how I longed for a motherE
To save the life of my childB
I seed in a vision each minitB
The youngster nursed back into lifeS
An' the hand of a woman was in itB
An' the woman was Brighten's wifeS
There's times when not knowin' a bliss isA
As Harry's school teacher 'ud sayK
And I didn't know Brighten's missisK
Had gone to the town that dayK
In a moment I'd lifted HarryA
To the bags on top of the loadB
And I flogged the weary horsesK
Along on the dusty roadB
But ev'rything seem'd to hinderE
My hopes when I reached the hutB
For there wasn't a light in the winderE
And both o' the doors was shutB
That moment my heart got hurtedB
An' I felt it for many a dayB
For I thought that the place was desertedB
An' Brighten had gone awayB
But I called and the door was openedB
An' I saw that the hut was alightB
It hadn't shone in the windersK
For the moon was shinin' brightB
An' there in the door with a candleH
I saw old Brighten standB
With his fingers grasping the handleH
Of a pistol he held in his handB
If any one moves he shoutedB
I'll fire if I've got to hangD
For the moment he never doubtedB
'Twas a visit from Gard'ner's gangD
I didn't move in a hurryA
For a man in a fright shoots quickD
But I told him he needn't flurryA
'Twas only a youngster sickD
Stan' back said old Brighten snatchin'I
An' shuttin' the door in his frightB
It's typhoid maybe he's catchin'I
An' I can't have him here to nightB
But a woman's voice shouted What is itB
I'd never seen her beforeT
She was only there on a visitB
'Twas Brighten's sister in lawU
An' nothin' seemed able to frightenI
This woman so pale an' thinI
She pushed from the door old BrightenI
An' carried the youngster inI
She'd bin hospital nurse in the cityA
I heard and had got the sackD
For havin' a little pityA
An' exposin' a doctor quackD
Some trumped up stories agin herE
All over the town was belledA
An' in spite of the fightin' in herE
They got her at last expelledA
An' talkin' o' fight I'm fearin'I
There's sudden fightin' in storeT
For the first as speaks in my hearin'I
'Gin Brighten's sister in lawU
For in spite of old Brighten's cussin'I
She got the youngster to bedA
And arter a week's good nussin'I
She won him back from the deadA
And then I began to hankerE
For a speech to tell her the joyV
I felt in my heart and to thank herE
For givin' me back my boyV
The mornin' I left old Brighten'sK
While puttin' the horses toA
I puzzled my brains to make upW
A speech as I thought would doA
She lifted the youngster and kissed himX
And helped him into the drayB
An' I thought of how I'd 'a' missed himX
If he'd only been taken awayB
An' Mum I sez I oughterB
An' to finish the speech I triesK
But all on a sudden the waterB
Kem bubblin' up to my eyesK
An' down'ard like water coursesK
The tears began to tearB
An' I had to swear at the horsesK
To hide my weakness from herB
But the tears was only humanI
An' they seem'd to ha' done some goodA
For she pressed my hand like a womanI
An' said that she understoodA

Henry Lawson


Poem topics: , Print This Poem , Rhyme Scheme

Submit Spanish Translation
Submit German Translation
Submit French Translation

Write your comment about The Carrier's Story Or, Brighten's Sister-in-law poem by Henry Lawson


Recent Interactions*

This poem was read 1 times,

This poem was added to the favorite list by 0 members,

This poem was voted by 0 members.

(* Interactions only in the last 7 days)

New Poems

Popular Poets