Henry Lawson ( )

The Flour Bin

By Lawsons Hill, near Mudgee, 
On old Eurunderee  
The place they called New Pipeclay, 
Where the diggers used to be  
On a dreary old selection, 
Where times were dry and thin, 
In a slab and shingle kitchen 
There stood a flour bin. 

Twas ploorer with the cattle, 
Twas rust and smut in wheat, 
Twas blight in eyes and orchards, 
And coarse salt-beef to eat. 
Oh, how our mothers struggled 
Till eyes and brain were dull  
Oh, how our fathers slaved and toiled 
To keep those flour bins full! 

Weve been in many countries, 
Weve sailed on many seas; 
Weve travelled in the steerage 
And lived on land at ease. 
Weve seen the world together 
Through laughter and through tears  
And not been far from bakers bread 
These five and thirty years. 

The flats are green as ever, 
The creeks go rippling through; 
The Mudgee Hills are showing 
Their deepest shades of blue; 
Those mountains in the distance 
That ever held a charm 
Are fairer than a picture 
As seen from Coxs farm. 

On a German farm by Mudgee, 
That took long years to win, 
On the wide bricked back verandah 
There stands a flour bin; 
And the dear old German lady  
Though the bakers carts run out  
Still keeps a fifty in it 
Against a time of drought. 

It was my father made it, 
It stands as good as new, 
And of the others like it 
There still remain a few. 
God grant, when drought shall strike us, 
The young will take a pull, 
And the old folk their strength anew 
To keep those flour bins full.

Henry Lawson's other poems:
  1. The Song of Old Joe Swallow
  2. From the Bush
  3. Wide Lies Australia
  4. Uncle Harry
  5. Jack Dunn of Nevertire

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