A Derry on a Cove [poem by Henry Lawson]

[Editor: This poem by Henry Lawson was published in Short Stories in Prose and Verse (1894) and in Verses Popular and Humorous (1900).]

A Derry on a Cove.

’Twas in the felon’s dock he stood, his eyes were black and blue;
His voice with grief was broken, and his nose was broken, too;
He muttered, as that broken nose he wiped upon his cap —
“It’s orfal when the p’leece has got a derry on a chap.

“I am a honest workin’ cove, as any bloke can see,
It’s just because the p’leece has got a derry, sir, on me;
Oh, yes, the legal gents can grin, I say it ain’t no joke —
It’s cruel when the p’leece has got a derry on a bloke.

“Why don’t you go to work?” he said (he muttered, “Why don’t you?”)
Yer honer knows as well as me there ain’t no work to do.
And when I try to find a job I’m shadered by a trap —
It’s awful when the p’leece has got a derry on a chap.”

I sigh’d and shed a tearlet for that noble nature marred,
But, ah! the Bench was rough on him, and gave him six months’ hard.
He only said, “Beyond the grave you’ll cop it hot, by Jove!
There ain’t no angel p’leece to get a derry on a cove.”

Henry Lawson. Short Stories in Prose and Verse, L. Lawson, Sydney, [1894], pages 91-92

Also published in:
Henry Lawson. Verses Popular and Humorous, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1900, pages 185-186

Editor’s notes:
derry = to dislike, to have a grudge against, or be prejudiced against

[Editor: Added closing quotation mark to the end of “derry on a cove.”.]

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