The Blessings of War

Henry Lawson, 1899

      I'm in favour of the war, and of half-a-dozen more;
      And I think we should have had one long before —
      There is nothing to deplore; I'm in favour of the war
      Independent of all statements made by Briton or by Boer.

      'Tis a healthy stirring up of the dregs of sorrow's cup;
      'Tis a joyful thing, as I have always held,
      For it brings us something new. And I'm looking forward to
      The festive time when Sydney shall be shelled!

      Oh, the bush is dull and brown, and it's duller still in town,
      And the Bush Bard and his reader crave for change,
      For they're sick of Bill and Jim, and the dusty Track and grim,
      And they're tired of chasing brumbies in the range.

      We need ne'er in rhyme again carry swag across the plain —
      We need never fight the " 'ploorer", drought and flood,
      For Jack Cornstalk gone to war (as Bill Shakespeare said before)
      Shall "be copy now to men of grosser blood".

      Shall be copy now at home both in story, sketch and "pome" —
      In the new Australian drama he'll be great.
      Both in letters and in art he will play the paying part
      (And 'tis farewell to the swagman and his mate).

      When he's sick of grubbing stumps, of the posts and rails he humps,
      And the old man keeps him grafting all the while,
      We won't send him off Out Back with a swag or with a pack,
      But we'll send him to South Africa in style.

      And he'll come back in the drought, and he'll farm the old man out,
      And he'll take his mother home to live with him;
      And a billet or a grant will be all on earth he'll want —
      And he'll wed the squatter's daughter fair and slim.

      When his life is hard and grim, and his best girl's false to him,
      And he's sick and tired and mad about it all —
      We will ship him with three cheers and the Dingo Volunteers,
      And his manly breast expanding for the ball.

      But he'll come back with the rest, and his V.C. on his breast
      (Oh we'll bring him back in glory and in rhyme),
      And the girl, her blue eyes dim, who has pined and longed for him —
      She will tell him that she loved him all the time.

      The Bulletin