Knocked Up Poem by Henry Lawson

Knocked Up

Rating: 3.4

I'm lyin' on the barren ground that's baked and cracked with drought,
And dunno if my legs or back or heart is most wore out;
I've got no spirits left to rise and smooth me achin' brow --
I'm too knocked up to light a fire and bile the billy now.

Oh it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin', in flies an' dust an' heat,
Or it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-a-mpin'
through mud and slush 'n sleet;
It's tramp an' tramp for tucker -- one everlastin' strife,
An' wearin' out yer boots an' heart in the wastin' of yer life.

They whine o' lost an' wasted lives in idleness and crime --
I've wasted mine for twenty years, and grafted all the time
And never drunk the stuff I earned, nor gambled when I shore --
But somehow when yer on the track yer life seems wasted more.

A long dry stretch of thirty miles I've tramped this broilin' day,
All for the off-chance of a job a hundred miles away;
There's twenty hungry beggars wild for any job this year,
An' fifty might be at the shed while I am lyin' here.

The sinews in my legs seem drawn, red-hot -- 'n that's the truth;
I seem to weigh a ton, and ache like one tremendous tooth;
I'm stung between my shoulder-blades -- my blessed back seems broke;
I'm too knocked out to eat a bite -- I'm too knocked up to smoke.

The blessed rain is comin' too -- there's oceans in the sky,
An' I suppose I must get up and rig the blessed fly;
The heat is bad, the water's bad, the flies a crimson curse,
The grub is bad, mosquitoes damned -- but rheumatism's worse.

I wonder why poor blokes like me will stick so fast ter breath,
Though Shakespeare says it is the fear of somethin' after death;
But though Eternity be cursed with God's almighty curse --
What ever that same somethin' is I swear it can't be worse.

For it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin' thro' hell across the plain,
And it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-mpin' thro' slush 'n mud 'n rain --
A livin' worse than any dog -- without a home 'n wife,
A-wearin' out yer heart 'n soul in the wastin' of yer life.

Claudia Krizay 27 April 2011

This poem does nothing for me- nothing positive, that is.

5 11 Reply
Claudia Krizay 27 April 2011

This poem does nothing for me except make me feel superior-

5 10 Reply
Juan Olivarez 27 April 2011

I must say in all honesty I was never familiar with Lawson, but his poem is excellent. Living in and working in the great outback must have been the ultimate test of survival. Now we must wait for Pruchnicki to come and foul the water.

5 8 Reply
Jesse Milligan 27 April 2009

Loved it. You are one of the many talented poets that make me want to make my poems be famous some day. Love to see more of your brilliant and inspiring work.

3 9 Reply
Ramesh T A 27 April 2010

Monotonous living and harsh-ship in life with no hope of change on dry land leading to pain of body, heart and soul certainly nobody likes to live long! It makes one think death better than pulling on life so! It is all expressed in a free style poem without losing touch with rhythm and rhyme makes the poem impressive one!

5 7 Reply
Babatunde Aremu 27 April 2014

Wonderful poem! I like it

4 6 Reply
Michelle Claus 27 April 2014

Excellent ballad. I'll read this many times and always like it.

3 7 Reply
James Mclain 27 April 2014

What a master piece, t'would take me days to create one like this...iip

4 6 Reply
Dawn Fuzan 27 April 2014

This us really good

4 5 Reply
Captain Herbert Poetry 27 April 2014

Higjh classic poem. Fine

3 5 Reply
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson

Grenfell, New South Wales
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