The Flour Bin

Henry Lawson, 1914

      By Lawson's Hill, near Mudgee,
      On old Eurunderee —
      The place they called "New Pipeclay",
      Where the diggers used to be —
      On a dreary old selection,
      Where times were dry and thin,
      In a slab and shingle kitchen
      There stood a flour bin.

      'Twas "ploorer" with the cattle,
      'Twas rust and smut in wheat,
      'Twas blight in eyes and orchards,
      And coarse salt-beef to eat.
      Oh, how our mothers struggled
      Till eyes and brain were dull —
      Oh, how our fathers slaved and toiled
      To keep those flour bins full!

      We've been in many countries,
      We've sailed on many seas;
      We've travelled in the steerage
      And lived on land at ease.
      We've seen the world together
      Through laughter and through tears —
      And not been far from baker's bread
      These five and thirty years.

      The flats are green as ever,
      The creeks go rippling through;
      The Mudgee Hills are showing
      Their deepest shades of blue;
      Those mountains in the distance
      That ever held a charm
      Are fairer than a picture
      As seen from Cox's farm.

      On a German farm by Mudgee,
      That took long years to win,
      On the wide bricked back verandah
      There stands a flour bin;
      And the dear old German lady —
      Though the bakers' carts run out —
      Still keeps a "fifty" in it
      Against a time of drought.

      It was my father made it,
      It stands as good as new,
      And of the others like it
      There still remain a few.
      God grant, when drought shall strike us,
      The young will "take a pull",
      And the old folk their strength anew
      To keep those flour bins full.