Henry Lawson

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

The Bush Beyond The Range

FROM Crow’s Nest here by Sydney town
Where crows had nests of old
I see the Range where day goes down—
The dim blue in the gold.
And sometimes wonder, half in doubt,
Has there been so much change
As pictured in the prints about
The Bush beyond the Range.

There’s motor car and all the “frills”
But none of my old mates—
The Bush seems run by Buff’lo Bills
And Hayseeds from the States.
I miss the homesteads and the scrub,
The stock and fences too,
The horse and swagmen and the pub.
That Minns and Mahoney drew.

I miss the drivers, diggers, sheep,
And—lots of things—Ah, well!
I wonder if the Kellys keep
The Carrier’s Camp Hotel—
If that still stands by hill and plain
As old man Kelly’s pride—
Or if he did pull round again
When Mary Kelly died?

And Andy Kelly took to drink,
And Barney took a horse
(And two years’ hard without a blink)
And each one took his course.
And what became of Andy Mack,
Tom Browne, and Pat “O’Brine”?
It must be twenty seasons back
Since last I had a line.

I wonder if—but I forget
And wonder like a fool,
Is Bertha Lambert teaching yet
A wretched, half-time school?
I hope—ah! how the memories come,
To bother and defer,
I only hope my boyhood’s chum,
Fred Spencer, married her.

I wonder if the farms we had
Are scrub or ploughed ground now?
A fence by Harry Dare or “Dad”
Would last it, anyhow.
I wonder if the cemet’ry,
Fenced in by Dad and Dare,
Is lonely as it used to be
When they were buried there.

I wonder, and the more it seems
So far away and strange,
For I have lost, except in dreams,
The Bush beyond the Range.
I wonder too, in fear and shame,
Do they, like me, forget—
I wonder if they mind the name
Of “Henry Lawson” yet.
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