When I was King and Other Verses

From the Bush

Henry Lawson

The Channel fog has lifted—
    And see where we have come!
Round all the world we’ve drifted,
    A hundred years from ‘home.’
The fields our parents longed for—
    Ah! we shall ne’er know how—
The wealth that they were wronged for
    We’ll see as strangers now!

THE DOVER cliffs have passed on—
    In morning light aglow—
That our fathers looked their last on
    A weary time ago.
Now grin, and grin your bravest!
    We need be strong to fight;
For you go home to picture
    And I go home to write.

Hold up your head in England,
    Tread firm on London streets;
We come from where the strong heart
    Of all Australia beats!
Hold up your head in England
    However poor you roam!
For no men are your betters
    Who never sailed from home!

From a hundred years of hardships—
    ’Tis ours to tell the cost—
From a thousand miles of silence
    Where London would be lost;
From where the glorious sunset
    On sweeps of mulga glows—
Ah! we know more than England,
    And more than Europe knows!

Hold up your head in London,
    However poor you come,
For no man is your better
    Who never sailed from home!
Our ‘home’ and foreign fathers,
    Where none but men dared go,
Have done more for the White Man
    Than England e’er shall know!

When I was King and Other Verses - Contents

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