Henry Lawson

17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales

A Derry On A Cove

’Twas in the felon’s dock he stood, his eyes were black and blue;
His voice with grief was broken, and his nose was broken, too;
He muttered, as that broken nose he wiped upon his cap—
‘It’s orfal when the p’leece has got a derry on a chap.
‘I am a honest workin’ cove, as any bloke can see,
‘It’s just because the p’leece has got a derry, sir, on me;
‘Oh, yes, the legal gents can grin, I say it ain’t no joke—
‘It’s cruel when the p’leece has got a derry on a bloke.’

‘Why don’t you go to work?’ he said (he muttered, ‘Why don’t you?’).
‘Yer honer knows as well as me there ain’t no work to do.
‘And when I try to find a job I’m shaddered by a trap—
‘It’s awful when the p’leece has got a derry on a chap.’

I sigh’d and shed a tearlet for that noble nature marred,
But, ah! the Bench was rough on him, and gave him six months’ hard.
He only said, ‘Beyond the grave you’ll cop it hot, by Jove!
‘There ain’t no angel p’leece to get a derry on a cove.’
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