"All Unyun Men"

Henry Lawson, 1893

      'Twas a big shed on the Darlin' —
      The Unyuns know it well,
      But mighty few in the Unyuns knew
      About the thing I tell.
      'Twuz a great shed for free labour,
      And the chaps was all aware,
      And the rep. wuz told that he'd best not try,
      His funny bizzness there.

      But the rep. wuz straight, an' the rep. hed grit —
      He tried his funny biz.:
      He shoved the cause along a bit
      With three square mates of his.
      The bunks stood in a corner —
      'Twuz called the "Unyun Den" —
      And on the post they pasted
      The sign: "ALL UNION MEN"

      Now, 'twuz a shed where Unyun talk
      Wuz answ'red with a vim,
      An' each wuz told to take a walk,
      An' take his swag with him.
      They lnew the boss had marked 'em —
      They knew they'd git the sack —
      And they risked their cheque for a convert:
      Such men are found out back

      'Way down along the Darlin'
      There tramped four Unyun men,
      An' two-legg'd things from Whitely King's
      Camped in the "Unyun Den",
      An' a jackaroo got up ter do
      A clever thing one day:
      He started there, before 'em all,
      To scrape that sign away.

      Then up rose "Jack the Dingo" —
      A rough ole Darlin' slab —
      Wuz known among the Unyuns
      As "Crawlin' Jack the Scab" —
      At least, they called him "Crawlin' Jack"
      When he wasn't in the place —
      They called him that behind his back,
      But never to his face.

      Then up got "Jack the Dingo",
      An' nasty was his tone —
      He said, in shearing lingo:
      "You let that sign erlone!
      You've got a Unyun ticket,
      You cur! An', what is more,
      You've got a sneakin' ref'rence
      From the last shed where you shore!
      I hate the gory Unyun,
      An' I'm game ter say I do,
      But I think them chaps wuz better
      Than a two-faced jackaroo!"

      Four bunks stood in a corner —
      'Twuz called ther "Unyun Den" —
      An' on ther post wuz written
      Three words: "All Unyun Men".
      Free labour thought a mighty lot,
      But 'twuz not much it sed,
      An' the sign stopped there while the "Dingo"
      Wuz shearin' in the shed.



      Worker