Works in the Herald 1922

In a Victorian town a swagman, suspected of imbibing too freely, was fined 10/- for sleeping before the altar of a church, with the organ cover as a blanket.

I 'ad been bushed in city streets,
   Where the bricks and mortar grow.
I 'ad worked me way through the northern towns
   'Oo's landmarks I don't know.
There was faces, faces, driftin' past,
   But never a one I knoo.
An' I never 'ad felt the need so great
   For a reel good mate an' true.

A lonely man in the Outback lands
   Is a lonely man, all right.
Yet 'e 'as the sky an' the birds by day
   An' 'e 'as the stars by night.
But a lonely man in a crowd o' men
   Is the loneliest of all,
An' that's 'ow come I 'ad a few;
   An' that's 'ow come my fall.

Fer I sez to meself, "I'm a stranger 'ere,
   An' there ain't a soul I know."
Then I thinks of a Mate I alwiz 'ad
   Where the stunted mulgas grow --
The Man 'oo ever 'as been my friend
   Through many a black bush night;
An' I thinks, "If I find His house round 'ere,
   He'll give me a doss, all right."

An' I come to His house as I stumbled on,
   An' I found the door ajar;
As it alwiz stands in the Christian lands
   Fer blokes that wander far;
So up I crep' to the altar step,
   An' I sez . . . "I'm 'ere again."
I knew He'd spare what nap was there,
   So I lodged with the Mate of Men.

Yes: I found His house, an' I lay me down,
   An' I dreamed of a kindly God;
When a big policeman came along
   An' banged me into quod.
An' the cell was cold, an' the bed was 'ard;
   But I thinks, "It's all right, Bill."
So I lay me down an' dreamed again . .
   An' my Mate was with me still.

The Mooch of Life
"C. J. Dennis"
Herald, 29 May 1922, p6

This poem was also published in the following collection:
Random Verse

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