The Free-Selector’s Daughter [poem by Henry Lawson]

[Editor: This poem by Henry Lawson was published in In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses, 1896.]

The Free-Selector’s Daughter

I met her on the Lachlan Side —
A darling girl I thought her,
And ere I left I swore I’d win
The free-selector’s daughter.

I milked her father’s cows a month,
I brought the wood and water,
I mended all the broken fence,
Before I won the daughter.

I listened to her father’s yarns,
I did just what I ‘oughter’,
And what you’ll have to do to win
A free-selector’s daughter.

I broke my pipe and burnt my twist,
And washed my mouth with water;
I had a shave before I kissed
The free-selector’s daughter.

Then, rising in the frosty morn,
I brought the cows for Mary,
And when I’d milked a bucketful
I took it to the dairy.

I poured the milk into the dish
While Mary held the strainer,
I summoned heart to speak my wish,
And, oh! her blush grew plainer.

I told her I must leave the place,
I said that I would miss her;
At first she turned away her face,
And then she let me kiss her.

I put the bucket on the ground,
And in my arms I caught her:
I’d give the world to hold again
That free-selector’s daughter!



Source:
Henry Lawson. In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1903 [first published 1896], pages 51-52

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