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Short poem

Henry Lawson (1867-1922)

Andy's Gone with Cattle

              1Our Andy's gone to battle now
              2    'Gainst Drought, the red marauder:
              3Our Andy's done with cattle now
              4    Across the Queensland border.

              5He's left us in dejection now;
              6    Our hearts with him are roving.
              7It's dull on this selection now,
              8    Since Andy went a-droving.

              9Who now shall wear the cheerful face
            10    In times when things are slackest?
            11And who shall whistle round the place
            12    When Fortune frowns her blackest?

            13Oh, who shall cheek the squatter now
            14    When he comes round us snarling?
            15His tongue is growing hotter now
            16    Since Andy cross'd the Darling.

            17The gates are out of order now,
            18    In storms the `riders' rattle;
            19For far across the border now
            20    Our Andy's gone with cattle.

            21Poor Aunty's looking thin and white;
            22    And Uncle's cross with worry;
            23And poor old Blucher howls all night
            24    Since Andy left Macquarie.

            25Oh, may the showers in torrents fall,
            26    And all the tanks run over;
            27And may the grass grow green and tall
            28    In pathways of the drover.

            29And may good angels send the rain
            30    On desert stretches sandy;
            31And when the summer comes again
            32    God grant 'twill bring us Andy.


4] Queensland: state in eastern Australia.

13] cheek: face, confront.

16] the Darling: the longest river in Australia, flowing from Queensland through New South Wales and into the Indian Ocean.

18] `riders': "timber used to hold down the bark roofs of primitive bush houses" (An Anthology of Australian Verse, ed. Bertram Stevens (London: Macmillan, 1906).

28] drover: someone who herds droves of livestock.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Henry Lawson, In the Days when the World was Wide and Other Verses (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1896): 57-58. x.908/13059 British Library. shel 0660 Fisher Rare Book Library
First publication date: October 1888
Publication date note: See Stone, 12
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2001.
Recent editing: 4:2002/2/23

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Henry Lawson