Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer". He was the son of the poet, publisher and feminist Louisa Lawson.
Henry Lawson was born in a town on the Grenfell goldfields of New South Wales. His father was Niels Herzberg Larsen, a Norwegian-born miner who went to sea at 21, arrived in Melbourne in 1855 to join the gold rush. Lawson's parents met at the goldfields of Pipeclay (now Eurunderee, New South Wales) Niels and Louisa married on 7 July 1866; he was 32 and ... more »
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Henry Lawson Poems
The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town; My spirit revives in the morning breeze, though it died when the sun went down;
Andy's Gone With Cattle
Our Andy's gone to battle now 'Gainst Drought, the red marauder; Our Andy's gone with cattle now
Faces In The Street
They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown; For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
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 --
A Prouder Man Than You
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 --
The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought, The cheque was spent that the shearer earned, and the sheds were all cut out;
It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep, For there's near a hundred for'ard, and they're stowed away like sheep, -- They are trav'lers for the most part in a straight 'n' honest path;
A Song Of Brave Men
Man, is the Sea your master? Sea, and is man your slave? – This is the song of brave men who never know they are brave: Ceaselessly watching to save you, stranger from foreign lands, Soundly asleep in your state room, full sail for the Goodwin Sands!
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.
A Bush Girl
She's milking in the rain and dark, As did her mother in the past. The wretched shed of poles and bark, Rent by the wind, is leaking fast.
We must suffer, husband and father, we must suffer, daughter and son, For the wrong we have taken part in and the wrong that we have seen done. Let the bride of frivolous fashion, and of ease, be ashamed and dumb, For I tell you the nations shall rule us who have let their children come!
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 -- Burnt a lot of fancy verses, and I'm glad that I am back.
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.
From The Bush
The Channel fog has lifted – And see where we have come! Round all the world we've drifted, A hundred years from "home".
The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
My spirit revives in the morning breeze,
though it died when the sun went down;
The river is high and the stream is strong,
and the grass is green and tall,
And I fain would think that this world of ours is a good world after all.
The light of passion in dreamy eyes, and a page of truth well read,
The glorious thrill in a heart grown cold of the spirit I thought was dead,
A song that goes to a comrade's heart, and a tear of pride let fall --
And my soul is strong! and the ...