When I was King and Other Verses

Heed Not

Henry Lawson

HEED not the cock-sure tourist,
    Seeing with English eyes;
Stroked at the banquet table
    Still, with the old stock lies—
Pet of a social circle,
    Guest in a garden fair—
Free of the first-class carriage—
    He learns no Australia there.

Heed not the Southern humbugs
    By the first saloons who come—
From his work in the wide, hot scrub-lands
    The Australian goes not home.
Give them the toadies’ knighthood,
    Fit for the souls they’ve got;
Fear not to shame Australia
    For Australia knows them not.

Heed not the Sydney ‘dailies,’
    Naught for the land they do;
Heed not the Melbourne street crowd,
    For they know no more than you!
Pent in the coastal cities,
    Still on the old-world track—
They know naught of Australia,
    Of the heart of the great Out-Back.

But wait for the voice that gathers
    Strength by the western creeks!
Heed ye the Out-Back shearers—
    List when the Great Bush speaks!
Heed ye the black-sheep, working
    His own salvation free—
And Oh! heed ye the sons of the exiles
    When they speak of the things to be!

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