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Best Famous Henry Lawson Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Henry Lawson poems. This is a select list of the best famous Henry Lawson poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Henry Lawson poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Henry Lawson poems.

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by Henry Lawson | |

The Vagabond

 Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see, Bread I dip in the river - There's the life for a man like me, There's the life for ever.
Let the blow fall soon or late, Let what will be o'er me; Give the face of earth around And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love, Nor a friend to know me; All I seek, the heaven above And the road below me.
Or let autumn fall on me Where afield I linger, Silencing the bird on tree, Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field - Warm the fireside haven - Not to autumn will I yield, Not to winter even! Let the blow fall soon or late, Let what will be o'er me; Give the face of earth around, And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love, Nor a friend to know me; All I ask, the heaven above And the road below me.


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 – ay, you'll hold the land – the land that your rifles cover.
Till your gold has levelled each mountain range where a wounded man can hide, Till your gold has lighted the moonless night on the plains where the rebels ride; Till the future is proved, and the past is bribed from the son of the land's dead lover – You may hold the land – you may hold the land just as far as your rifles cover.


by Henry Lawson | |

Said Grenfell to my Spirit

 Said Grenfell to my spirit, "You’ve been writing very free 
Of the charms of other places, and you don’t remember me.
You have claimed another native place and think it’s Nature’s law, Since you never paid a visit to a town you never saw: So you sing of Mudgee Mountains, willowed stream and grassy flat: But I put a charm upon you and you won’t get over that.
" O said Grenfell to my spirit, " Though you write of breezy peaks, Golden Gullies, wattle sidings, and the pools in she-oak creeks, Of the place your kin were born in and the childhood that you knew, And your father’s distant Norway (though it has some claim on you), Though you sing of dear old Mudgee and the home on Pipeclay Flat, You were born on Grenfell goldfield – and you can’t get over that .
"


by Henry Lawson | |

The Song And The Sigh

 The creek went down with a broken song, 
'Neath the sheoaks high; 
The waters carried the song along, 
And the oaks a sigh.
The song and the sigh went winding by, Went winding down; Circling the foot of the mountain high, And the hillside brown.
They were hushed in the swamp of the Dead Man's Crime, Where the curlews cried; But they reached the river the self-same time, And there they died.
And the creek of life goes winding on, Wandering by; And bears for ever, its course upon, A song and a sigh.


by Henry Lawson | |

The Wattle

 I saw it in the days gone by, 
When the dead girl lay at rest, 
And the wattle and the native rose 
We placed upon her breast.
I saw it in the long ago (And I've seen strong men die), And who, to wear the wattle, Hath better right than I? I've fought it through the world since then, And seen the best and worst, But always in the lands of men I held Australia first.
I wrote for her, I fought for her, And when at last I lie, Then who, to wear the wattle, has A better right than I?


by Henry Lawson | |

Send Round the Hat

 Now this is the creed from the Book of the Bush – 
Should be simple and plain to a dunce: 
"If a man’s in a hole you must pass round the hat – 
Were he jail-bird or gentleman once.
"


by Henry Lawson | |

Middletons 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 dominions Plied the stockwhip and shears; Hadn't any opinions, Hadn't any 'idears'.
Swiftly the years went over, Liquor and drought prevailed; Middleton went as a drover, After his station had failed.
Type of a careless nation, Men who are soon played out, Middleton was:—and his station Was bought by the Rouseabout.
Flourishing beard and sandy, Tall and robust and stout; This is the picture of Andy, Middleton's Rouseabout.
Now on his own dominions Works with his overseers; Hasn't any opinions, Hasn't any 'idears'.


by Henry Lawson | |

The Men We Might Have Been

 When God's wrath-cloud is o'er me, 
Affrighting heart and mind; 
When days seem dark before me, 
And days seem black behind; 
Those friends who think they know me -- 
Who deem their insight keen -- 
They ne'er forget to show me 
The man I might have been.
He's rich and independent, Or rising fast to fame; His bright star is ascendant, The country knows his name; His houses and his gardens Are splendid to be seen; His fault the wise world pardons -- The man I might have been.
His fame and fortune haunt me; His virtues wave me back; His name and prestige daunt me When I would take the track; But you, my friend true-hearted -- God keep our friendship green! -- You know how I was parted From all I might have been.
But what avails the ache of Remorse or weak regret? We'll battle for the sake of The men we might be yet! We'll strive to keep in sight of The brave, the true, and clean, And triumph yet in spite of The men we might have been.


by Henry Lawson | |

Shadows Before

 "Like clouds o'er the South are the nations who reign 
On fair islands that we would command; 
But clouds that are darker and denser than these 
Have sailed from an Isle in the Northern Seas 
And rest on our Southern Land.
Low in dust is our Goddess of Liberty hurled At our feet, and the time is at hand, When we, the proud sons of the southern world, Beneath a proud banner of freedom unfurled And true to each other shall stand.
If e'er in the ranks of the Right we advance; Though our enemies come like a flood, We'll meet them like lions, aroused from our trance, And show that a streak of the Olden Romance Still runs in our commonplace blood.


by Henry Lawson | |

Ill tell you what you Wanderers

 I'll tell you what you wanderers, who drift from town to town; 
Don't look into a good girl's eyes, until you've settled down.
It's hard to go away alone and leave old chums behind- It's hard to travel steerage when your tastes are more refined- To reach a place when times are bad, and to be standing there, No money in your pocket nor a decent rag to wear.
But be forced from that fond clasp, from that last clinging kiss- By poverty! There is on earth no harder thing than this.


by Henry Lawson | |

Republican Pioneers

 We're marching along, we're gath'ring strong' 
We place on our right reliance, 
We fling in the air, for all who care, 
Our first loud notes of defiance! 
We fling in the air, 
For all who care, 
Our first loud notes of defiance! 

Laugh long and loud, you toady crowd, 
At the men you call benighted, 
In spite of your sneers, we are pioneers 
Of "Australian States United"! 
In spite of your sneers, We are pioneers 
Of "Australian States United"! 

Not long we'll stand as an outlaw band, 
And be in our country lonely, 
For soon to the sky shall ring our cry, 
Our cry of "Australia only"! 
For soon to the sky 
Shall mount our cry, 
Our cry of "Australia only"! 

And we'll sleep sound in Australian ground, 
'Neath the blue-cross flag star lighted, 
When it freely waves o'er the grass-grown graves 
Of the pioneers united! 
When it floats and veers 
O'er the pioneers 
Of "Australian States United"!


by Henry Lawson | |

Every Man Should have a Rifle

 So I sit and write and ponder, while the house is deaf and dumb, 
Seeing visions "over yonder" of the war I know must come.
In the corner - not a vision - but a sign for coming days Stand a box of ammunition and a rifle in green baize.
And in this, the living present, let the word go through the land, Every tradesman, clerk and peasant should have these two things at hand.
No - no ranting song is needed, and no meeting, flag or fuss - In the future, still unheeded, shall the spirit come to us! Without feathers, drum or riot on the day that is to be, We shall march down, very quiet, to our stations by the sea.
While the bitter parties stifle every voice that warns of war, Every man should own a rifle and have cartridges in store!


by Henry Lawson | |

A Song of the Republic

 Sons of the South, awake! arise! 
Sons of the South, and do.
Banish from under your bonny skies Those old-world errors and wrongs and lies.
Making a hell in a Paradise That belongs to your sons and you.
Sons of the South, make choice between (Sons of the South, choose true), The Land of Morn and the Land of E'en, The Old Dead Tree and the Young Tree Green, The Land that belongs to the lord and the Queen, And the Land that belongs to you.
Sons of the South, your time will come – Sons of the South, 'tis near – The "Signs of the Times", in their language dumb, Fortell it, and ominous whispers hum Like sullen sounds of a distant drum, In the ominous atmosphere.
Sons of the South, aroused at last! Sons of the South are few! But your ranks grow longer and deeper fast, And ye shall swell to an army vast, And free from the wrongs of the North and Past The land that belongs to you.


by Henry Lawson | |

Wide Spaces

 When the man I was denounces all the things that I was not, 
When the true souls stand like granite, while the souls of liars not – 
When the quids I gave are counted, and the trays I cadged forgot; 

Shall my spirit see the country that it wrote for once again? 
Shall it see the old selections, and the common street and lane? 
Shall it pass across the Black Soil and across the Red Soil Plain? 

Shall it see the gaunt Bushwoman "slave until she's fit to drop", 
For the distant trip to Sydney, all depending on the crop? 
Or the twinkling legs of kiddies, running to the lollie-shop? 

Shall my spirit see the failures battling west and fighting here? 
Shall it see the darkened shanty, or the bar-room dull and drear? 
Shall it whisper to the landlord to give Bummer Smith a beer? 

Will they let me out of Heaven, or Valhalla, on my own – 
Or the Social Halls of Hades (where I shall not be alone) – 
Just to bring a breath of comfort to the hells that I have known?


by Henry Lawson | |

The Blue Mountains

 Above the ashes straight and tall, 
Through ferns with moisture dripping, 
I climb beneath the sandstone wall, 
My feet on mosses slipping.
Like ramparts round the valley's edge The tinted cliffs are standing, With many a broken wall and ledge, And many a rocky landing.
And round about their rugged feet Deep ferny dells are hidden In shadowed depths, whence dust and heat Are banished and forbidden.
The stream that, crooning to itself, Comes down a tireless rover, Flows calmly to the rocky shelf, And there leaps bravely over.
Now pouring down, now lost in spray When mountain breezes sally, The water strikes the rock midway, And leaps into the valley.
Now in the west the colours change, The blue with crimson blending; Behind the far Dividing Range, The sun is fast descending.
And mellowed day comes o'er the place, And softens ragged edges; The rising moon's great placid face Looks gravely o'er the ledges.


by Henry Lawson | |

To Hannah

 Spirit girl to whom 'twas given 
To revisit scenes of pain, 
From the hell I thought was Heaven 
You have lifted me again; 
Through the world that I inherit, 
Where I loved her ere she died, 
I am walking with the spirit 
Of a dead girl by my side.
Through my old possessions only For a very little while, And they say that I am lonely, And they pity, but I smile: For the brighter side has won me By the calmness that it brings, And the peace that is upon me Does not come of earthly things.
Spirit girl, the good is in me, But the flesh you know is weak, And with no pure soul to win me I might miss the path I seek; Lead me by the love you bore me When you trod the earth with me, Till the light is clear before me And my spirit too is free.


by Henry Lawson | |

At The Beating Of A Drum

 Fear ye not the stormy future, for the Battle Hymn is strong, 
And the armies of Australia shall not march without a song; 
The glorious words and music of Australia's song shall come 
When her true hearts rush together at the beating of a drum.
We may not be there to hear it – 'twill be written in the night, And Australia's foes shall fear it in the hour before the fight.
The glorious words and music from a lonely heart shall come When our sons shall rush to danger at the beating of the drum.
He shall be unknown who writes it; he shall soon forgotten be, But the song shall ring through ages as a song of liberty.
And I say the words and music of our battle hymn shall come, When Australia wakes in anger at the beating of a drum.