Peddling Round The World

A poem by Henry Lawson

When at first in foreign parts
Was her flag unfurled,
England was a Gipsy lass
Peddling round the world.
Sailing on the Spanish Main,
Everywhere you roam,
Peddling in the Persian Gulf
Things she’d made at home.
Peddling round the world,
Peddling round the world,
England was a Gipsy lass
Peddling round the world.
England never wanted war,
Not on land or sea,
Other nations rising up
Couldn’t let her be.
England only wanted peace,
And the ocean’s breath;
So there came, in course of time,
Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth,
Queen Elizabeth,
Came a plain, bad-tempered queen,
Called Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth, she called
Drake, and Raleigh too,
Essex, Howard, and the rest
Of the pirate crew;
“See what you can do,” she said.
“England’s feeling sick,
If you don’t, I’ll hang you all!
Better do it quick.”
“Better do it quick,” she said,
“Better do it quick”;
And they knew she’d keep her word,
So they did it quick.

Drake and Raleigh sailed away,
(Only Bess they feared)
Cleared the Spanish Main and singed
The King of Spain his beard,
Singed the King of Spain his beard,
And his hair they curled.
England was a Gipsy’s love
Peddling round the world.
Peddling round the world,
Peddling round the world.
England was a Gipsy’s love
Peddling round the world.

Once again, when Cromwell came,
England wanted room;
So he lowered Holland’s tone,
Smashed the Dutchman’s broom.
Sent a message to Algiers;
Made its meaning plain,
On the way they called once more
On the King of Spain.
On the King of Spain,
On the King of Spain:
Called, to jog his memory,
On the King of Spain.

So the years went round and round,
Over hills and flats,
England was a Gipsy wife,
England had her brats;
Peddling in the China Sea,
Far from English ground;
Doing biz with Mrs. Jap,
Peddling all around.
Peddling all around,
Peddling all around;
Making friends with Mrs. Jap,
Peddling all around.


When the war is past and gone,
With its blood and tears;
And the world may count upon
Peace for fifty years,
When the gory battle-flags
Round their sticks are furled,
Then you’ll see a Gipsy crone
Peddling round the world.
Peddling round the world,
Peddling round the world.
Then you’ll see a Gipsy crone
A-peddling round the world!
Shawl as old as Joseph’s coat,
Hair as white as snow,
Mind as bright as Seventeen,
Eyes still like the sloe,
Peddling in the Southern Seas,
Everywhere you roam,
And she’ll fill her baskets here
With things we’ll make at home.
Things we’ll make at home,
Things we’ll make at home,
Call to fill her baskets here
With things we’ll make at home.

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