Amongst My Own People
Henry Lawson, 1916
Editor's note: This poetry was part of an article written by Henry Lawson, "Amongst My Own People (New Series)", published in The Murrumbidgee Irrigator.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF LEETON
THE CAPITAL OF THE YANCO IRRIGATION AREA
Here, haphazard I set them down
First impressions of Leeton town;
After a year and a year are past,
I wonder whatever shall be the last?
DROUGHT AND IRRIGATION
"The clay was on his boots, my friends,
And moleskins patched and old,
From the last shaft he sank by night
For water or for gold.
"The dust was on his shirt, my friends,
And in his beard and hair,
From the hot white road he tramped to town
To work for wages there.
"His miner's right was on the shelf!
The mortgage in the bank;
His Man's Right with the Sons of God!
His rating and his rank.
"The glaze was in his eyes, my friends,
And the death dew on his brow;
And the life was choking in his throat
I think I hear it now!
"Slow death was at his heart long years,
Before his eyes grew dim;
And the Red Tape round his neck, my friend,
That helped to strangle him."