Poem – A Little Mistake – Henry Lawson 

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 respect for the weather. 
The trooper said to the sergeant’s wife: 

‘Sure, I wouldn’t seem unpleasant; 

‘But there’s women and childer about the place, 

‘And—barrin’ a lady’s present— 
‘There’s ould King Billy wid niver a stitch 

‘For a month—may the drought cremate him!— 

‘Bar the wan we put in his dirty head, 

‘Where his old Queen Mary bate him. 
‘God give her strength!—and a peaceful reign— 

‘Though she flies in a bit av a passion 

‘If ony wan hints that her shtoyle an’ luks 

‘Are a trifle behind the fashion. 
‘There’s two of the boys by the stable now— 

‘Be the powers! I’ll teach the varmints 

‘To come wid nought but a shirt apiece, 

‘And wid dirt for their nayther garmints. 
‘Howld on, ye blaggards! How dare ye dare 

‘To come widin sight av the houses?— 

‘I’ll give ye a warnin’ all for wance 

‘An’ a couple of ould pair of trousers.’ 
They took the pants as a child a toy, 

The constable’s words beguiling 

A smile of something beside their joy; 

And they took their departure smiling. 
And that very day, when the sun was low, 

Two blackfellows came to the station; 

They were filled with the courage of Queensland rum 

And bursting with indignation. 
The constable noticed, with growing ire, 

They’d apparently dressed in a hurry; 

And their language that day, I am sorry to say, 

Mostly consisted of ‘plurry.’ 
The constable heard, and he wished himself back 

In the land of the bogs and the ditches— 

‘You plurry big tight-britches p’liceman, what for 

‘You gibbit our missuses britches?’ 
And this was a case, I am bound to confess, 

Where civilisation went under; 

Had one of the gins been less modest in dress 

He’d never have made such a blunder. 
And here let the moral be duly made known, 

And hereafter signed and attested: 

We should place more reliance on that which is shown 

And less upon what is suggested.

Poem – A Dirge of Joy – Henry Lawson

Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise; 
And this is a clamour of Victory, and a pæan of Ancient Days. 

It isn’t a Yelp of the Battlefield; nor a Howl of the Bounding Wave, 

But an ode to the Things that the War has Killed, and a lay of the Festive Grave. 

’Tis a triolet of the Tomb, you bet, and a whoop because of Despair, 

And it’s sung as I stand on my hoary head and wave my legs in the air! 

Oh! I dance on the grave of the Suffragette (I dance on my hands and dome), 

And the Sanctity-of-the-Marriage-Tie and the Breaking-Up-of-the-Home. 

And I dance on the grave of the weird White-Slave that died when the war began; 

And Better-Protection-for-Women-and-Girls, and Men-Made-Laws-for-Man! 
Oh, I dance on the Liberal Lady’s grave and the Labour Woman’s, too; 

And the grave of the Female lie and shriek, with a dance that is wild and new. 

And my only regret in this song-a-let as I dance over dale and hill, 

Is the Yarn-of-the-Wife and the Tale-of-the-Girl that never a war can kill. 
Oh, I dance on the grave of the want-ter-write, and I dance on the Tomb of the Sneer, 

And poet-and-author-and-critic, too, who used to be great round here. 

But “Old Mother Often” (“Mother of Ten”) and “Parent” escaped from the grave— 

And “Pro Bono Publico” liveth again, as “Victis,” or “Honour the Brave.” 
Oh, lightly I danced upon Politics’ grave where the Friend of the Candidate slept, 

And over the Female Political Devil, oh wildly I bounded and leapt. 

But this dance shall be nothing compared with the dance of the spook of the writer who sings 

On the grave of the bard and the Bulletin’s grave, out there at the Finish of Things!

Poem – A Prouder Man Than You – Henry Lawson

If you fancy that your people came of better stock than mine, 
If you hint of higher breeding by a word or by a sign, 

If you’re proud because of fortune or the clever things you do — 

Then I’ll play no second fiddle: I’m a prouder man than you! 
If you think that your profession has the more gentility, 

And that you are condescending to be seen along with me; 

If you notice that I’m shabby while your clothes are spruce and new — 

You have only got to hint it: I’m a prouder man than you! 
If you have a swell companion when you see me on the street, 

And you think that I’m too common for your toney friend to meet, 

So that I, in passing closely, fail to come within your view — 

Then be blind to me for ever: I’m a prouder man than you! 
If your character be blameless, if your outward past be clean, 

While ’tis known my antecedents are not what they should have been, 

Do not risk contamination, save your name whate’er you do — 

`Birds o’ feather fly together’: I’m a prouder bird than you! 
Keep your patronage for others! Gold and station cannot hide 

Friendship that can laugh at fortune, friendship that can conquer pride! 

Offer this as to an equal — let me see that you are true, 

And my wall of pride is shattered: I am not so proud as you!