Poem: On a Wet Night by L.M.D. (Dugald McLaghlan)

Crouched by the fire in the grate,
   Cooped in the prison of Home to-night,
Everything ordered with air sedate,
   Chair and books and a shaded light.

Dreaming, reflectively, chin in hand,
   Swirling of wind and of rain outside,
Back I am swagging it, out to the land
   Where the sky is clear and the plains are wide.

Long grey slopes to the purple rise,
   Winding tracks through the mulga scrub,
Station roofs gleaming their long good-byes,
   Welcoming light in a wayside pub.

My lamp I'd give for the rushlight dip
   That shook like a drunk just off the bend;
My home for the chance of a westward trip
   With the drunken mate who called me friend.

The books I read for the books I made
   (In fancy only) I'd freely give,
The cosy room for the boulder shade,
   The Government "screw" for the gambling "div."

Freedom to do as you d--n well please,
   Go to the dogs with a fizz and a hiss,
Drink up the flagon of life to the lees --
   That is the star on a night like this.

First published in The Bulletin, 3 March 1904

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 24, 2005 8:54 AM.

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