Andy's Return

Henry Lawson, 1888

      With pannikins all rusty,
             And billy burnt and black,
      And clothes all torn and dusty,
             That scarcely hide his back;
      With sun-cracked saddle-leather,
             And knotted greenhide rein,
      And face burnt brown with weather,
             Our Andy's home again!

      His unkempt hair is faded
             With sleeping in the wet,
      He's looking old and jaded;
             But he is hearty yet.
      With eyes sunk in their sockets —
             But merry as of yore;
      With big cheques in his pockets,
             Our Andy's home once more!

      Old Uncle's bright and cheerful;
             He wears a smiling face;
      And Aunty's never tearful
             Now Andy's round the place.
      Old Blucher barks for gladness;
             He broke his rusty chain,
      And leapt in joyous madness
             When Andy came again.

      With tales of flood and famine,
             On distant northern tracks,
      And shady yarns — 'baal gammon!'
             Of dealings with the blacks,
      From where the skies hang lazy
             On many a northern plain,
      From regions dim and hazy
             Our Andy's home again!

      His toil is nearly over;
             He'll soon enjoy his gains.
      Not long he'll be a drover,
             And cross the lonely plains.
      We'll happy be for ever
             When he'll no longer roam,
      But by some deep, cool river
             Will make us all a home.

      Town & Country Journal, 24 November 1888