Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

To Jack

Henry Lawson 1867 (Grenfell) – 1922 (Sydney)

SO, I’ve battled it through on my own, Jack,
I have done with all dreaming and doubt.
Though “stoney” to-night and alone, Jack,
I am watching the Old Year out.
I have finished with brooding and fears,
Jack, And the spirit is rising in me,
For the sake of the old New Years, Jack,
And the bright New Years to be.

I have fallen in worldly disgrace, Jack,
And I know very well that you heard;
They have blackened my name in this place, Jack,
And I answered them never a word.
But why should I bluster or grieve,
Jack? So narrow and paltry they be—
I knew you would never believe, Jack,
The lies that were said against me.

That is done which shall never be undone,
And I blame not, I blame not my land,
But I’m hearing the Calling of London,
And I long for the roar of the Strand.
It was always the same with our race,
Jack; You know how a vagabond feels—
We can fight a straight man face to face, Jack.
But we can’t keep the curs from our heels.

You know I loved women and drink, Jack,
And that’s how the trouble began;
But you know that I never would shrink,
Jack, From a deed that was worthy a man!
I never was paltry or mean, Jack.
And cruel I never could be,
I will give you a hand which is clean,
Jack, When we meet again over the sea.

I will bring a few wrinkles of care,
Jack; I have altered a lot, I am told;
The steel-filings show in my hair, Jack;
But my heart is as young as of old.
I have faith still in women, and men, Jack,
Though selfish and blind they may be.
I still have my soul and my pen, Jack,
And my country seems dearer to me.

I will sail when your summer sets in, Jack,
And good-bye to my own native land;
Oh, I long for a glimpse of your grin, Jack,
And I long for the grip of your hand.
We both suffered sorrow and pain, Jack,
And sinned in the days that are done;
But we’ll fight the old battle again, Jack,
Where the battle is worth being won.

Font size:

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:54 min read

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:



    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)


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


    "To Jack" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/18155/to-jack>.

    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!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    "Now I become myself. It's taken time, many years and places."
    • A. W.H. Auden
    • B. Rita Dove
    • C. Robert Frost
    • D. May Sarton

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets