Henry Lawson Poetry

Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson (17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922) was an Australian writer and bush poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest short story wr... Read More

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The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought,
The cheque was spent t

I MIND the days when ladies fair
Helped on my overcoat,
And tucked the silken handkerchief
About

Tis glorious morning everywhere
Save where the alleys lie—
I see the fleecy steam jets bid
“G

From Australia
.
OH, tell me, God of Battles! Oh, say what is to come!
The King is in his trenche

I WISH I’d never gone to board
In that house where I met
The touring lady from abroad,
Who mock

IT IS well when you’ve lived in clover,
To mourn for the days gone by—
Would I live the same l

If yer gotter corf about yer,
Gotter corf –
Gotter corf –
If yer gotter corf about yer,
Gott

Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise;
And this is a clamour of Vict

A BLANKET low and leaden,
Though rent across the west,
Whose darkness seems to deaden
The brighte

WE WANT the man who will lead the van,
The man who will pioneer.
We have no use for the gentleman,

I'm lyin' on the barren ground that's baked and cracked with drought,
And dunno if my legs or back

If you fancy that your people came of better stock than mine,
If you hint of higher breeding by a

They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that miser

’Tis a wonderful time when these hours begin,
These long ‘small hours’ of night,
When grass

Lo! the Boar’s tail is salted, and the Kangaroo’s exalted,
And his right eye is extinguished by

IT IS New Year’s Day and I rise to state that here on the Sydney side
The Bards have commenced to

The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
My spirit revives in the

We learnt the creed at Hungerford,
We learnt the creed at Bourke;
We learnt it in the good times

The rattling ‘donkey’ ceases,
The bell says we must part,
You long slab of good-nature,
And p

I only woke this morning
To find the world is fair—
I’m going on for forty,
With scarcely one

So you’ve seen at last what we have seen so long through scalding tears:
You have found what we

Texas Jack, you are amusin’. By Lord Harry, how I laughed
When I seen yer rig and saddle with its

She's milking in the rain and dark,
As did her mother in the past.
The wretched shed of poles and

On western plain and eastern hill
Where once my fancy ranged,
The station hands are riding still

Oh, do you hear the argument, far up above the skies?
The voice of old Saint Peter, in expostulatio

A tall, slight, English gentleman,
With an eyeglass to his eye;
He mostly says “Good-Bai” to y

Sons of the South, awake! arise!
Sons of the South, and do.
Banish from under your bonny skies

’Tis a yarn I heard of a new-chum ‘trap’
On the edge of the Never-Never,
Where the dead men

It is stuffy in the steerage where the second-classers sleep,
For there's near a hundred for'ard,

Our Andy's gone to battle now
'Gainst Drought, the red marauder;
Our Andy's gone with cattle now

There are scenes in the distance where beauty is not,
On the desolate flats where gaunt appletrees

He was bare—we don’t want to be rude—
(His condition was owing to drink)
They say his condit

’Twas in the felon’s dock he stood, his eyes were black and blue;
His voice with grief was brok

Henry Lawson Poetry

Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson (17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922) was an Australian writer and bush poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest short story writer". He was the son of the poet, publisher and feminist Louisa Lawson.

Henry Lawson was born 17 June 1867 in a town on the Grenfell goldfields of New South Wales. His father was Niels Hertzberg Larsen, a Norwegian-born miner. Niels Larsen went to sea at 21 and arrived in Melbourne in 1855 to join the gold rush, along with partner William Henry John Slee.[1] Lawson's parents met at the goldfields of Pipeclay (now Eurunderee, Gloucester County, New South Wales). Niels and Louisa Albury (1848–1920) married on 7 July 1866 when he was 32 and she 18. On Henry's birth, the family surname was Anglicised and Niels became Peter Lawson. The newly married couple were to have an unhappy marriage. Louisa, after family-raising, took a significant part in women's movements, and edited a women's paper called The Dawn (published May 1888 to July 1905). She also published her son's first volume, and around 1904 brought out a volume of her own, Dert and Do, a simple story of 18,000 words. In 1905 she collected and published her own verses, The Lonely Crossing and other Poems. Louisa likely had a strong influence on her son's literary work in its earliest days. Peter Lawson's grave (with headstone) is in the little private cemetery at Hartley Vale, New South Wales, a few minutes' walk behind what was Collitt's Inn.

Lawson attended school at Eurunderee from 2 October 1876 but suffered an ear infection at around this time. It left him with partial deafness and by the age of fourteen he had lost his hearing entirely. However, his master John Tierney was kind and did all he could for Lawson, who was quite shy. Lawson later attended a Catholic school at Mudgee, New South Wales around 8 km away; the master there, Mr Kevan, would teach Lawson about poetry. Lawson was a keen reader of Dickens and Marryat and novels such as Robbery Under Arms and For the Term of His Natural Life; an aunt had also given him a volume by Bret Harte. Reading became a major source of his education because, due to his deafness, he had trouble learning in the classroom.

In 1883, after working on building jobs with his father in the Blue Mountains, Lawson joined his mother in Sydney at her request. Louisa was then living with Henry's sister and brother. At this time, Lawson was working during the day and studying at night for his matriculation in the hopes of receiving a university education. However, he failed his exams. At around 20 years of age Lawson went to the eye and ear hospital in Melbourne but nothing could be done for his deafness.

In 1890 he began a relationship with Mary Gilmore. She writes of an unofficial engagement and Lawson's wish to marry her, but it was broken by his frequent absences from Sydney. The story of the relationship is told in Anne Brooksbank's play All My Love.

In 1896, Lawson married Bertha Bredt, Jr., daughter of Bertha Bredt, the prominent socialist. The marriage ended very unhappily. They had two children, son Jim (Joseph) and daughter Bertha.... Read More