To Tom Bracken
Henry Lawson, 1894
The Sunny South at best is hard
An' cold to Southern writers
But oh! it's frozen to the bard
Amongst the othersiders.
They hear the song, but not the groan
Whilst horses they are backin'.
He asks for bread they grudge a stone
When he is dead! Tom Bracken.
He's left to starve when stony broke,
To put his trust the Lord on
To hang himself, like Barcroft Boake,
Or shoot himself, like Gordon.
He's left to battle in the ruck,
With poverty attacking
You should be glad that you have struck
A softer spot, Tom Bracken!
Oh! had you tracked where Kendall trod
I think you would be kneelin'
Three times a week and thankin' God
That you are of New Zealan'!
For this I'll say, to make it short,
An' keep my tongue from clackin',
The people are a kinder sort
You're singin' for, Tom Bracken.