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Jim Carew

Andrew Barton Paterson 1864 (Orange, New South Wales) – 1941 (Sydney, New South Wales)



Born of a thoroughbred English race,
Well proportioned and closely knit,
Neat, slim figure and handsome face,
Always ready and always fit,
Hardy and wiry of limb and thew,
That was the ne'er-do-well Jim Carew.
One of the sons of the good old land --
Many a year since his like was known;
Never a game but he took command,
Never a sport but he held his own;
Gained at his college a triple blue --
Good as they make them was Jim Carew.
Came to grief -- was it card or horse?
Nobody asked and nobody cared;
Ship him away to the bush of course,
Ne'er-do-well fellows are easily spared;
Only of women a sorrowing few
Wept at parting from Jim Carew.

Gentleman Jiim on the cattle-camp,
Sitting his horse with an easy grace;
But the reckless living has left its stamp
In the deep drawn linies of that handsome face,
And the harder look in those eyes of blue:
Prompt at a quarrel is Jim Carew.

Billy the Lasher was out for gore --
Twelve-stone navvy with chest of hair --
When he opened out with a hungry roar
On a ten-stone man, it was hardly fair;
But his wife was wise if his face she knew
By the time you were done with him, Jim Carew.
Gentleman Jim in the stockmen's hut
Works with them, toils with them, side by side;
As to his past -- well, his lips are shut.
"Gentleman once," say his mates with pride,
And the wildest Cornstalk can ne'er outdo
In feats of recklessness Jim Carew.

What should he live for? A dull despair!
Drink is his master and drags him down,
Water of Lethe that drowns all care.
Gentleman Jiim has a lot to drown,
And he reigns as king with a drunken crew,
Sinking to misery, Jim Carew.

Such is the end of the ne'er-do-well --
Jimmy the Boozer, all down at heel;
But he straightens up when he's asked to tell
His name and race, and a flash of steel
Still lightens up in those eyes of blue --
"I am, or -- no, I was -- Jim Carew."

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Andrew Barton Paterson

Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Clancy of the Overflow" (1889), "The Man from Snowy River" (1890) and "Waltzing Matilda" (1895), regarded widely as Australia's unofficial national anthem. more…

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