Andy's Return by Henry Lawson

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With pannikins all rusty,
   And billy bent and black,
And clothes all torn and dusty,
   That scarcely hide his back;
With sun crack'd saddle-leather,
   And knotted greenhide rein,
And face burn'd brown with weather,
   Our Andy's home again!

His unkempt hair is faded
   Through sleeping in the wet;
He's looking old and jaded;
   But he is hearty yet.
With eyes sunk in their sockets,
   But merry as of yore;
With big cheques in his pockets,
   Our Andy's home once more!   

With tales of flood and famine,
   On distant northern tracts,
And shady yarns, "baal gammon!"
   Of dealings with the blacks;   
From where the skies hang lazy
   Above the northern plain
From regions dim and hazy  
   Our Andy's home again!

Old Uncle's bright and cheerful;
   He wears a smiling face.
And Aunty's never tearful
   Now Andy's round the place.
Old " Blucher " barks for gladness;
   He broke his rusty chain,  
And leapt in joyous madness
   When Andy came again.

His toil is nearly over;
   He'll soon enjoy his gains.
Not long he'll be a drover,
   And cross the lonely plains.
We'll happy be for ever
   When he'll no longer roam,
But by some deep, cool river  
   Will make us all a home.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 24 November 1888, and again in the same newspaper on 13 July 1889 and 25 November 1903;
and later in
The Dawn, 1 November 1902;
When I was King and Other Verses by Henry Lawson, 1905;
A Camp-Fire Yarn: Henry Lawson Complete Works 1885-1900 edited by Leonard Cronin, 1984;
Henry Lawson: An Illustrated Treasury compiled by Glenys Smith, 1985;
A Collection of Australian Bush Verse, 1989; and
Classic Australian Verse edited by Maggie Pinkney, 2001.

Note: this poem is a sequel to Andy's Gone With Cattle, published here on 13 October 2011.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library, The Poetry of Henry Lawson website

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 24, 2011 7:17 AM.

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