A Bush Lawyer
When Ironbark the turtle came to Anthony's lagoon
The hills were hid behind a mist of equinoctal rain,
The ripple of the rivulets was like a cheerful tune
And wild companions waltzed among the grass as tall as grain.
But Ironbark the turtle cared no whit for all of these;
The ripple of the rivulets, the rustle of the trees
Were only apple sauce to him, or just a piece of cheese.
Now, Dan-di-dan the water rat was exquisitely dressed,
For not a seal in Bass's Straits had half as fine a coat,
And every day he combed and brushed his golden-yellow vest,
A contrast with the white cravat he wore beneath his throat.
And Dan-di-dan the water rat could move with ease and grace,
So Ironbark appeared to him a creature out of place,
With iron-plated overcoat and dirty little face.
A crawfish at the point of death came drifting down the drains.
Said he, "I'm scalded to the heart with bathing near the bore."
The turtle and the water rat disputed his remains,
For crawfish meat all day they'd eat, and then they'd ask for more.
Said Dan-di-dan, "The prize is mine, for I was fishing here
Before you tumbled down the bank and landed on your ear."
"I wouldn't care," the turtle said, "if you'd have fished a year."
So Baggy-beak the Pelican was asked to arbitrate;
The scales of justice seemed to hang beneath his noble beak.
He said, "I'll take possession of the subject of debate";
He stowed the fish inside his pouch and then began to speak.
"The case is far from clear," he said, "and justices of note" --
But here he snapped his beak and flapped his piebald overcoat --
"Oh dear," he said, "that wretched fish has slithered down my throat."
"But still," he said, "the point involved requires a full debate.
I'll have to get the lawyer birds and fix a special day.
Ad interim I rule that costs come out of the estate."
And Baggy-beak the Pelican got up and flew away.
So both the pair who went to law were feeling very small.
Said they, "We might have halved the fish and saved a nasty brawl;
For half a crawfish isn't much, but more than none at all."
Banjo Paterson's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (A Bush Lawyer by Banjo Paterson )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe