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Henry Lawson

(17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales)

My Father-in-Law and I


MY father-in-law is a careworn man,
And a silent man is he;
But he summons a smile as well as he can
Whenever he meets with me.
The sign we make with a silent shake
That speaks of the days gone by—
Like men who meet at a funeral—
My father-in-law and I.

My father-in-law is a sober man
(And a virtuous man, I think);
But we spare a shilling whenever we can,
And we both drop in for a drink.
Our pints they fill, and we say, “Ah, well!”
With the sound of the world-old sigh—
Like the drink that comes after a funeral—
My father-in-law and I.

My father-in-law is a kindly man—
A domestic man is he.
He tries to look cheerful as well as he can
Whenever he meets with me.
But we stand and think till the second drink
In a silence that might imply
That we’d both get over a funeral,
My father-in-law and I.

Submitted: Friday, March 26, 2010

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