Henry Lawson

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

On Looking Through An Old Punishment Book [at Eurunderee School]

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 names 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.
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