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Knocked Up

Written by: Henry Lawson | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 I'm lyin' on the barren ground that's baked and cracked with drought, 
And dunno if my legs or back or heart is most wore out; 
I've got no spirits left to rise and smooth me achin' brow -- 
I'm too knocked up to light a fire and bile the billy now. 

Oh it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin', in flies an' dust an' heat, 
Or it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-a-mpin' 
through mud and slush 'n sleet; 
It's tramp an' tramp for tucker -- one everlastin' strife, 
An' wearin' out yer boots an' heart in the wastin' of yer life. 

They whine o' lost an' wasted lives in idleness and crime -- 
I've wasted mine for twenty years, and grafted all the time 
And never drunk the stuff I earned, nor gambled when I shore -- 
But somehow when yer on the track yer life seems wasted more. 

A long dry stretch of thirty miles I've tramped this broilin' day, 
All for the off-chance of a job a hundred miles away; 
There's twenty hungry beggars wild for any job this year, 
An' fifty might be at the shed while I am lyin' here. 

The sinews in my legs seem drawn, red-hot -- 'n that's the truth; 
I seem to weigh a ton, and ache like one tremendous tooth; 
I'm stung between my shoulder-blades -- my blessed back seems broke; 
I'm too knocked out to eat a bite -- I'm too knocked up to smoke. 

The blessed rain is comin' too -- there's oceans in the sky, 
An' I suppose I must get up and rig the blessed fly; 
The heat is bad, the water's bad, the flies a crimson curse, 
The grub is bad, mosquitoes damned -- but rheumatism's worse. 

I wonder why poor blokes like me will stick so fast ter breath, 
Though Shakespeare says it is the fear of somethin' after death; 
But though Eternity be cursed with God's almighty curse -- 
What ever that same somethin' is I swear it can't be worse. 

For it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin' thro' hell across the plain, 
And it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-mpin' thro' slush 'n mud 'n rain -- 
A livin' worse than any dog -- without a home 'n wife, 
A-wearin' out yer heart 'n soul in the wastin' of yer life.