Saltbush Bill and other Verses

The Lost Drink

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

I had spent the night in the watch-house—
    My head was the size of three—
So I went and asked the chemist
    To fix up a drink for me;
And he brewed it from various bottles
    With soda and plenty of ice,
With something that smelt like lemon,
    And something that seemed like spice.

It fell on my parching palate
    Like the dew on a sun-baked plain,
And my system began to flourish
    Like the grass in a soft spring rain;
It wandered throughout my being,
    Suffusing my soul with rest,
And I felt as I “scoffed” that liquid
    That life had a new-found zest.

I have been on the razzle-dazzle
    Full many a time since then
But I never could get the chemist
    To brew me that drink again.
He says he’s forgotten the notion—
    ’Twas only by chance it came—
He’s tried me with various liquids
    But oh! they are not the same.

We have sought, but we sought it vainly,
    That one lost drink divine;
We have sampled his various bottles,
    But somehow they don’t combine:
Yet I know when I cross the River
    And stand on the Golden Shore
I shall meet with an angel-chemist
    Who’ll brew me that drink once more.

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