Jack Cornstalk

A poem by Henry Lawson

I met with Jack Cornstalk in London to-day,
He saw me and coo-eed from over the way.
Oh! the solemn-faced Londoners stared with surprise
At his hair and his height as compared with his size!
For his trousers were short and his collar was low,
And, there’s not room to coo-ee in London, I know.

But I said to him, ‘Jack!’ as he gripped my hand fast,
‘Oh, I hear that our Country’s a nation at last!
‘I hear they have launched the new ship of the State,
‘And with men at the wheel who are steering it straight.
‘I hear ’twas the vote of your Bush mates and you;
‘And, oh, tell me, Jack Cornstalk, if this can be true?

‘I hear that the bitter black strike times are o’er,
‘And that Grabbitt and Co. shall crush Labour no more;
‘That Australians are first where Australia was last,
‘And the day of the foreign adventurer’s past;
‘That all things are coming we fought for so long;
‘And, oh, tell me, Jack Cornstalk, if I have heard wrong?’

For a moment he dropped the old grin that he wore,
He’d a light in his eyes that was not there before,
And he reached for my hand, which I gave, nothing loth,
And replied in two words, and those words were ‘My Oath!
‘They are standing up grand, Toby Barton and See,
‘And Australia’s all right, you can take it from me.’

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