Old Time is tramping close to-day — you hear his bluchers fall,
A mighty change is on the way, an’ God protect us all;
Some dust’ll fly from beery coats — at least it’s been declared.
I’m glad that wimin has the votes — but just a trifle scared.
I’m just a trifle scared — For why? The wimin mean to rule;
It makes me feel like days gone by when I was caned at school.
The days of men is nearly dead — of double moons and stars —
They’ll soon put out our pipes, ’tis said, an’ close the public bars.
No more we’ll take a glass of ale when pushed with care an’ strife,
An’ chuckle home with that old tale we used to tell the wife.
We’ll laugh an’ joke an’ sing no more with jolly beery chums,
An’ shout ‘Here’s luck!’ while waitin’ for the luck that never comes.
Did we prohibit swillin’ tea clean out of common-sense
Or legislate on gossipin’ across a backyard fence?
Did we prohibit bustles — or the hoops when they was here?
The wimin never think of this — they want to stop our beer.
The track o’ life is dry enough, an’ crossed with many a rut,
But, oh! we’ll find it long an’ rough when all the pubs is shut,
When all the pubs is shut, an’ gone the doors we used to seek,
An’ we go toilin’, thirstin’ on through Sundays all the week.
For since the days when pubs was ‘inns’ — in years gone past’ n’ far —
Poor sinful souls have drowned their sins an’ sorrers at the bar;
An’ though at times it led to crimes, an’ debt, and such complaints —
I scarce dare think about the time when all mankind is saints.
’Twould make the bones of Bacchus leap an’ break his coffin lid;
And Burns’s ghost would wail an’ weep as Bobby never did.
But let the preachers preach in style, an’ rave and rant — ’n’ buck,
I rather guess they’ll hear awhile the old war-cry: ‘Here’s Luck!’
The world might wobble round the sun, an’ all the banks go bung,
But pipes’ll smoke an’ liquor run while Auld Lang Syne is sung.
While men are driven through the mill, an’ flinty times is struck,
They’ll find a private entrance still!
Here’s Luck, old man — Here’s Luck!
Henry Lawson. Verses Popular and Humorous, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1900, pages 208-210
Auld Lang Syne = (Scottish) “times long past” (literally, “old long since”), similar to “the good old days”; commonly known in relation to the song “Auld Lang Syne”, being the poem written by Robert Burns (and later set to music) which was based upon an old Scottish song
Bacchus = in Greek mythology, the god of wine
bluchers = dress shoes for men, distinguished by open lacing; or a high shoe or half boot; named after the Prussian military leader Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, who fought against Napoleon at Waterloo
Bobby = in the context of a reference to “Burns”, this is a reference to the Scottish poet Robert Burns (“Bobby” being a nickname for “Robert”)
Burns = Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet
sorrers = sorrows
wimin = women