In the Days When the World was Wide and Other Verses

The Free-Selector’s Daughter


Henry Lawson

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!

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