Scots of the Riverina

Original Text: 
Selected Poems of Henry Lawson (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1918): 106-08. PR 6023 A94A6 1918 Robarts Library
3The old man burned his letters, the first and last he burned,
6They heard the boy had enlisted, but the old man made no sign.
9The boy came home on his "final", and the township's bonfire burned.
10His mother's arms were about him; but the old man's back was turned.
11The daughters begged for pardon till the old man raised his hand --
12A Scot of the Riverina who was hard to understand.
14There were tears at the Grahame homestead and grief in Gundagai;
16There were furrows of pain in the orchard while his housefolk went to the kirk.
17The hurricane lamp in the rafters dimly and dimly burned;
19Face down on his bare arms folded he sank with his wild grey hair
20Outspread o'er the open Bible and a name re-written there.

Notes

1] harvest: Lawson's manuscript (Collected Verse, ed. Colin Roderick, III [Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1969]: 223) reads "Christmas". Back to Line
2] Riverina: farming region in New South Wales. Back to Line
4] wife's: Lawson's manuscript (Collected Verse, ed. Colin Roderick, III [Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1969]: 223) reads "woman's". Back to Line
5] for "another. There were calls from the firing-line;", Lawson's manuscript (Collected Verse,ed. Colin Roderick, III [Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1969]: 223) reads "another; and the fruit went down the line." Back to Line
7] Gundagai: small town by the Murrumbidgee River (which runs through Riverina). Back to Line
8] kirk: church. Back to Line
13] Flanders: World War I battle at Ypres, in which on April 22 the Germans first used poison gas, against Canadian troops.
best and bravest: Lawson's manuscript (Collected Verse, ed. Colin Roderick, III [Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1969]: 223) reads "bravest heroes". Back to Line
15] mirk: darkness. Back to Line
18] wife's: Lawson's manuscript (Collected Verse, ed. Colin Roderick, III [Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1969]: 224) reads "woman's". Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1917
Publication Notes: 
Bulletin; See Stone, 19
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001.
Rhyme: