Uncle Harry

Henry Lawson, 1920

      Oh, never let on to your own true love
      That ever you drank a drop;
      That ever you played in a two-up school
      Or slept in a sly-grog shop;
      That ever a bad girl nursed you round —
      That ever you sank so low.
      But she pulled you through, and it's only you
      And your old mate Harry know.

      "Billy the Link" they called you then,
      And it makes me sad to think
      Of the strenuous days when it took three cops
      And a pimp to couple the Link.
      "Mister Linkhurst" they call you now,
      And your kitchen garden grows;
      And no one knows in your family,
      But your Uncle Harry knows.

      Oh, never let on to your fair young bride
      How a "straight" girl stabbed your heart
      With a devilish wire to the Western side
      Where we were a world apart.
      With pick and shovel you fought it out
      Where the red sirocco blows;
      And no one knew in the gang save you —
      But your old mate Harry knows.

      Oh, never let on to your own good wife,
      For a tender heart has she,
      Of the girl that loved and the girl that lies
      In the graveyard there by the sea!
      'Twas not for his "manners" she loved the cad,
      'Twas not for his verse or prose,
      But the pity she felt for the country lad —
      And your Uncle Harry knows.

      The bad girl went where the bad girls go
      And I see her dark eyes yet;
      The good girl left me her broken heart,
      But I trow that their souls have met.
      The cry of the heart we send not forth
      On every wind that blows;
      You are hiding a sorrow from someone now —
      But your Uncle Harry knows.