Write By Return

A poem by Henry Lawson

Clerk, corresponding,
“Rooster and Comb”,
Here I sit idle
“Thinking of home”;
I must be grafting,
Living to earn,
More correspondence,
“Write by return.”

Clerk in employ of
“Shoddy and Woods”,
Thinks that we have not
Forwarded goods.
Parcel we sent them,
Missing, I learn,
Says in his postscript:
“Write by return.”

Here is another
Letter from Bland,
“Cheque he expected
Isn’t to hand.”
How we forgot it
Cannot discern,
“Forward remittance,
Write by return.”

Here is another,
O how they come?
Treats of a “Bender”
Planned by a chum.
See on the margin,
Big letters: “Burn
After perusal,
Write by return.”

Mail in from England,
Letters for me,
Dear little sweetheart
Over the sea.
“Quite broken-hearted,
O how I yearn
Only to see you. . . .
Write by return.”

One who will “never
Think that I’m bad”
Writes me a letter
Tearful and sad.
Thinks that I’m starving,
Filled with concern,
Sends me some money,
“Write by return.”

Letter from father,
Sent to his son,
“All is forgiven,
Fat calf for one.”
O that I ever
Thought he was stern,
Money for passage,
Write by return.

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