The Stringy-Bark Tree

Henry Lawson, 1905

      There's the whitebox and pine on the ridges afar,
      Where the iron-bark, blue-gum, and peppermint are;
      There is many another, but dearest to me,
      And the king of them all was the stringy-bark tree.

      Then of stringy-bark slabs were the walls of the hut,
      And from stringy-bark saplings the rafters were cut;
      And the roof that long sheltered my brothers and me
      Was of broad sheets of bark from the stringy-bark tree.

      And when sawn-timber homes were built out in the West,
      Then for walls and for ceilings its wood was the best;
      And for shingles and palings to last while men be,
      There was nothing on earth like the stringy-bark tree.

      Far up the long gullies the timber-trucks went,
      Over tracks that seemed hopeless, by bark hut and tent;
      And the gaunt timber-finder, who rode at his ease,
      Led them on to a gully of stringy-bark trees.

      Now still from the ridges, by ways that are dark,
      Come the shingles and palings they call stringy-bark;
      Though you ride through long gullies a twelve months you'll see
      But the old whitened stumps of the stringy-bark tree.