Henry Lawson

(17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales)

The Muscovy Duck - Poem by Henry Lawson

The rooster is a brainless dude, although he sports a crest,
The hen’s an awful fool we know, though hen-eggs are the best;
She’ll flutter, cackling, anywhere save through a gate or door,
And try to hatch a door-knob, too, for forty days or more.
The turkey is of small account, we’ll let it go in peace,
And other fowls are ornaments, and geese are simply geese;
But over all that cackle, hiss, or gobble, quack, or cluck,
My favourite shall always be the quaint Muscovy duck.

I’m fond of Mrs Muscovy, I think she knows the most
Of all the different kinds of fowls that poultry-breeders boast.
She knows best how to build her nest when laying time is past,
And you should see the knowing pride with which she sets at last.
She waddles out for food and drink—she’s not afraid of us,
And if we fix her now and then she doesn’t make a fuss;
No frantic flaps of useless wings, no cackle, hiss, nor cluck,
She’s queen of all philosophers—the quaint Muscovy duck.

It is a wondrous thing to see, and a wondrous thing to tell,
Her ducklings know as much as ducks the day they leave the shell.
That she is proud as proud can be, is plain to any dunce—
The little ducklings set to work to grow up ducks at once;
And, on a sunny winter’s day, ’tis a good thing for the eyes
To see her waddle round and watch her ducklings catching flies,
I love her for her waddle, and her patience, and her pluck,
Her wag of tail and nod of head—the quaint Muscovy duck.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 26, 2010

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