Resolution: A Stone for the Great Pavement by C.J. Dennis

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A strong and stalwart man was he,
   And he sat in the shearing shed
And shore, on the distant Boolooree,
   Where the best of sheep are bred.
He sang in a voice that was full and deep,
   And his shear blades merrily rang,
And he snipped and snipped at his bleating sheep;
   And this is the song he sang --

      Oh, it's goin' back to-morra, boys,
         Back to 'ome, sweet 'ome --
      The 'ome we left in sorra, boys,
         The dismal north to roam.
      We'll keep our 'ard-earned pay, me boys,
         An' shun the bloomin' booze;
      We'll stow our cheques away, me boys,
         Fur drinkin' ain't no use.

When next I saw this shearer man
   He was in a crowded bar,
Where the liquor fast and freely ran;
   He was smoking a cigar.
His voice was loud, and his eye was bright,
   And his language coarse and slang;
His face was cut - for he'd had a fight --
   And this was the song he sang --

      Come and 'ave a drink, me boys!
         No, you can't refuse;
      Don't care what you think, me boys,
         I'm on the blanky booze.
      Lashin' up me pay, me boys,
         Little do I reck;
      Drink dull care away, me boys;
         I'm knockin' down me cheque.

Next morn I saw this shearer strong;
   He was seated on his swag;
His merry, jovial air was gone,
   And vanished was his brag.
His voice was thick and his eye was red;
   A broken man was he;
And pleading and soft were the words he said,
   And thus he spake to me --

      Say, mister, buy us a pint, sir;
         I've busted all I 'ad;
      I'm aching in ev'ry jint, sir --
         Me 'ead is awful bad.
      I've lashed me earnin's up, sir --
         Spent me bloomin' cheque,
      So buy us a pick-me-up, sir -
         I'm a gawd forsaken wreck!

First published in The Critic, 5 March 1898

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 5, 2013 7:36 AM.

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