On Looking Through an Old Punishment Book
At Eurunderee School
A Dirge

Henry Lawson, 1914

      I took the book of punishment,
      And ran its columns down;
      I started with an open brow
      And ended with a frown;
      I noted long-forgotten names —
      They took me unaware;
      I noted old familiar names.
      But my name wasn't there!

      I thought of what I might have been,
      And Oh! my heart was pained
      To find, of all the scholars there,
      That I was never caned!
      I thought of wasted childhood hours,
      And a tear rolled down my cheek —
      I must have been a model boy,
      Which means a little sneak!

      "Oh, give me back my youth again!"
      Doc Faustus used to say —
      I only wish the Powers could give
      My boyhood for a day.
      A model boy! Beloved of girls!
      Despised by boys and men!
      But it comforts me to think that I've
      Made up for it since then.