Henry Lawson

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

Old North Sydney

They're shifting old North Sydney—
Perhaps ’tis just as well—
They’re carting off the houses
Where the old folks used to dwell.
Where only ghosts inhabit
They lay the old shops low;
But the Spirit of North Sydney,
It vanished long ago.

The Spirit of North Sydney,
The good old time and style,
It camped, maybe, at Crow’s Nest,
But only for a while.
It left about the season,
Or at the time, perhaps,
When old Inspector Cotter
Transferred his jokes and traps.

A brand new crowd is thronging
The brand new streets aglow
Where the Spirit of North Sydney
Would gossip long ago.
They will not know to-morrow—
Tho’ ’twere but yesterday—
Exactly how McMahon’s Point
And its ferry used to lay.

The good old friendly spirit
Its sorrows would unfold,
When householders were neighbours
And shop-keeping was old;
But now we’re busy strangers,
Our feelings we restrain—
The Spirit of North Sydney
Shall never come again!
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