Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Above Crow's Nest [Sydney]

Henry Lawson 1867 (Grenfell) – 1922 (Sydney)



A BLANKET low and leaden,
Though rent across the west,
Whose darkness seems to deaden
The brightest and the best;
A sunset white and staring
On cloud-wrecks far away—
And haggard house-walls glaring
A farewell to the day.

A light on tower and steeple,
Where sun no longer shines—
My people, Oh my people!
Rise up and read the signs!
Low looms the nearer high-line
(No sign of star or moon),
The horseman on the skyline
Rode hard this afternoon!

(Is he—and who shall know it?—
The spectre of a scout?
The spirit of a poet,
Whose truths were met with doubt?
Who sought and who succeeded
In marking danger’s track—
Whose warnings were unheeded
Till all the sky was black?)

It is a shameful story
For our young, generous home—
Without the rise and glory
We’d go as Greece and Rome.
Without the sacrifices
That make a nation’s name,
The elder nation’s vices
And luxuries we claim.

Grown vain without a conquest,
And sure without a fort,
And maddened in the one quest
For pleasure or for sport.
Self-blinded to our starkness
We’d fling the time away
To fight, half-armed, in darkness
Who should be armed to-day.

This song is for the city,
The city in its pride—
The coming time shall pity
And shield the countryside.
Shall we live in the present
Till fearful war-clouds loom,
And till the sullen peasant
Shall leave us to our doom?

Cloud-fortresses titanic
Along the western sky—
The tired, bowed mechanic
And pallid clerk flit by.
Lit by a light unhealthy—
The ghastly after-glare—
The veiled and goggled wealthy
Drive fast—they know not where.

Night’s sullen spirit rouses,
The darkening gables lour
From ugly four-roomed houses
Verandah’d windows glower;
The last long day-stare dies on
The scrub-ridged western side,
And round the near horizon
The spectral horsemen ride.

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:33 min read
123 Views

Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson 17 June 1867 - 2 September 1922 was an Australian writer and poet Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period more…

All Henry Lawson poems | Henry Lawson Books

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Discuss this Henry Lawson poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Above Crow's Nest [Sydney]" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/17719/above-crow%27s-nest-%5Bsydney%5D>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    January 2022

    Poetry Contest

    Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.
    5
    days
    4
    hours
    13
    minutes

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    In poetry, the word "foot" refers to _______.
    • A. a unit of 12 lines
    • B. one stanza
    • C. two or more syllables
    • D. a dozen poems