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
This poem was also published in the following collection:
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06|