Edward George Dyson

(March 1865 - 22 August 1931 / Ballarat / Victoria / Australia)

The Shanty


THERE ARE tracks through the scrub, there’s a track down the hill,
And a track round the bend from M‘Courteney’s mill,
Where they slyly emerge from the bush and converge,
You’ll discover the humpy—the theme of this dirge—
That is used for the sale of O’Sullivan’s ‘purge.’
And if curses and cries,
And a blasting of eyes,
And a series of blasphemies fearful arise,
And a lunatic din,
And a racket like sin,
You can bet all you own the O’Sullivan’s in.

It’s a bark and slab hut, with a bar and a bunk,
And a man propped before it disgustingly drunk,
And a nameless galoot in a hand-me-down suit,
Straddling out on the grass, grim as death, and as mute,
Trapping millions of rabbits that run from his boot.
When eleven lie round
In all shapes on the mound,
And two navvies are fighting like fiends on the ground,
’Tisn’t needful to say
It’s the sweet Sabbath day,
And that trade at the shanty’s uncommonly gay.

Mrs. O’. makes the drinks, and O’Sullivan’s dart
Is to drink all he can to keep others in heart.
Though he’s old in the hoof, and he reckons he’s proof
’Gainst infernalest liquors, in warp and in woof,
He’s quite frequently seen howling out on the roof.
For from fungus or fruits,
From old rags or from roots,
Grass, cabbages, pickles, old bedding or boots,
Or the leaves of the gum,
Or whatever may come,
Mrs. O’. can extract the most illigant’ rum.

They’ve no peace in the hut and no peace on the hill,
Mrs. O’. never sleeps and her hand’s never still;
And old constable Mack cannot hit on the track
As a man of the law. As a stranger in black
When he finds his way there he can’t find his way back.
There’s no signboard to see,
But those fools on the spree,
Or a man in his shirt shrieking prayers to a tree.
As for licenses—yar!
They don’t know what they are,
For they drink without license at Sullivan’s bar.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Shanty by Edward George Dyson )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  4. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. To an Athlete Dying Young, Alfred Edward Housman
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Television, Roald Dahl

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. New York City, Dawson Walter Smith
  2. I will turn my eyes from you, Nero CaroZiv
  3. In Concert Tonight, Donal Mahoney
  4. January 1st,2015, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  5. In My Dreams, Kyle Schlicher
  6. One Needs The Other, Kyle Schlicher
  7. Escaping The World, silenced work
  8. Lonely, silenced work
  9. Agnostic Afloat, Donal Mahoney
  10. Unharmed Pinecones, Saiom Shriver
[Hata Bildir]