Offical stamp with portrait of Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson one of our best loved Australian poets and writer of short stories.  Please scroll down for more information.

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Briefly Henry Lawson  lived in the country on a selection  in Sapling Gully approximately 6 kms. from Mudgee in New South Wales.  This area became the setting for many of Lawson's poems and stories.  He had a terrific gift of being able to describe the Australian bush.  Hampered by deafness at the age of nine and by family problems he left school at the age of 14.  His mother Louisa Lawson an active feminist instilled in him a love of books this helped compensate for his meagre education.
Kangaroo - clip


The Sliprails and the Spur
Henry  Lawson

The colours of the setting sun
Withdrew across the Western Land-
He raised the sliprails, one by one,
And shot them home with trembling hand ;
Her brown hands clung - her face grew pale-
Ah! quivering chin and eyes that brim!-
One quick, fierce kiss across the rail,
And, 'Good-bye, Mary!'  'Good-bye, Jim!'

Oh, he rides hard to race the pain
Who rides from love, who rides from home;
But he rides slowly home again,
Whose heart as learnt to love and roam

A hand upon the horse's mane,
And one foot in the stirrup set,
And, stooping back to kiss again,
With 'Good-bye, Mary !  don't you fret !
When I come back '  - he laughed for her-
'We do not know how soon 'twill be;
I'll whistle as I round the spur -
You let the sliprails down for me.'

She gasped for sudden loss of hope,
As, with a backward wave to her,
He cantered down the grassy slope
And swiftly round the dark'ning spur.
Black-pencilled panels standing high,
And darkness fading into stars,
And, blurring fast against the sky,
A faint white form beside the bars.

And often at the set of sun,
In winter bleak and summer brown,
She'd steal across the little run,
And shyly let the sliprails down,
And listen there when darkness shut
The nearer spur in silence deep,
And when they called her from the hut
Steal home and cry herself to sleep.

And he rides hard to dull the pain
Who rides from one that loves him best....
And he rides slowly back again,
Whose restless heart must rove for rest.

     Henry Lawson (1867-1922)