The Misplaced Men by Edward Dyson

| No TrackBacks
He sagged upon the tender grass
   Where twinkling butterflies
Coquetted with the scented mass
   Of gum bloom. In his eyes
A dreamy speculation lay;
   His hat was knocked about;
His clothes were old, and fell away,
And from his broken boots in play
   His curling toes peeked out.

"I ort 'ave bin a dook," said he,
   "Or else a noble earl.
'Ard work ain't possible to me;
   I wasn't born to whirl
A nax, or swing a navvy's pick,
   Or even shake a sword.
For all that, I'm amazin' quick
With hard old drink, or soft young chick.
   I ort 'ave bin a lord.

"I 'ate coarse clo'es 'n' bread 'n' cheese;
   I'd love a royal bed,
With linen sheets 'n' tapestries
   Hung close above me 'ead.
I 'ave no gifts; I'm positive
   I cannot do a thing,
'N' through the changin' year to live
I have to take what others give.
   I ort 'ave bin a king.

"'N' there are dooks, 'n' lords, 'n' earls
   Who do not want to lie
'N' watch the lily where it curls
   Agin the driftin' sky.
They're up 'n' doin', so I'm told,
   As long as they can see.
What good to them uncounted gold?
The gift of ease they do not 'old --
   They orter have bin me.

"This world is all a sorry mess.
   It has its idle poor
Who can't enjoy their idleness,
   But suffer and endure.
It has its wealthy class that feels
   For work a fearful itch.
Yet to the worthless poor it deals
Out endless stoush, but never weals
   The undeservin' rich!"

First published in The Bulletin, 9 May 1918

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 9, 2011 7:42 AM.

"Yesterdays" by M. Burkinshaw (Mabel Forrest) was the previous entry in this blog.

The Smoker Parrot by John Shaw Neilson is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en