Henry Lawson ( )

Jack Dunn of Nevertire

It chanced upon the very day wed got the shearing done, 
A buggy brought a stranger to the West-o-Sunday Run; 
He had a round and jolly face, and he was sleek and stout, 
He drove right up between the huts and called the super out. 
We chaps were smoking after tea, and heard the swell enquire 
For one as travelled by the name of `Dunn of Nevertire. 
Jack Dunn of Nevertire, 
Poor Dunn of Nevertire; 
There wasnt one of us but knew Jack Dunn of Nevertire. 

`Jack Dunn of Nevertire, he said; `I was a mate of his; 
And now its twenty years since I set eyes upon his phiz. 
There is no whiter man than Jack -- no straighter south the line, 
There is no hand in all the land Id sooner grip in mine; 
To help a mate in trouble Jack would go through flood and fire. 
Great Scott! and dont you know the name of Dunn of Nevertire? 
Big Dunn of Nevertire, 
Long Jack from Nevertire; 
He stuck to me through thick and thin, Jack Dunn of Nevertire. 

`I did a wild and foolish thing while Jack and I were mates, 
And I disgraced my guvnors name, an wished to try the States. 
My lamps were turned to Yankee Land, for Id some people there, 
And I was right when someone sent the money for my fare; 
I thought twas Dad until I took the trouble to enquire, 
And found that he who sent the stuff was Dunn of Nevertire, 
Jack Dunn of Nevertire, 
Soft Dunn of Nevertire; 
Hed won some money on a race -- Jack Dunn of Nevertire. 

`Now Ive returned, by Liverpool, a swell of Yankee brand, 
To reckon, guess, and kalkilate, n wake my native land; 
There is no better land, I swear, in all the wide world round -- 
I smelt the bush a month before we touched King Georges Sound! 
And now Ive come to settle down, the top of my desire 
Is just to meet a mate o mine called `Dunn of Nevertire. 
Was raised at Nevertire -- 
The town of Nevertire; 
He humped his bluey by the name of `Dunn of Nevertire. 

`Ive heard hes poor, and if he is, a proud old fool is he; 
But, spite of that, Ill find a way to fix the old gum-tree. 
Ive bought a station in the North -- the best that could be had; 
I want a man to pick the stock -- I want a super bad; 
I want no bully-brute to boss -- no crawling, sneaking liar -- 
My station supers name shall be `Jack Dunn of Nevertire! 
Straight Dunn of Nevertire, 
Old Dunn of Nevertire; 
I guess hes known up Queensland way -- Jack Dunn of Nevertire. 

The super said, while to his face a strange expression came: 
`I THINK Ive seen the man you want, I THINK I know the name; 
Had he a jolly kind of face, a free and careless way, 
Gray eyes that always seemd to smile, and hair just turning gray -- 
Clean-shaved, except a light moustache, long-limbed, an tough as wire? 
`THATS HIM! THATS DUNN! the stranger roared, `Jack Dunn of Nevertire! 
John Dunn of Nevertire, 
Jack D. from Nevertire, 
They said Id find him here, the cuss! -- Jack Dunn of Nevertire. 

`Id know his walk, the stranger cried, `though sobered, Ill allow. 
`I doubt it much, the boss replied, `he dont walk that way now. 
`Perhaps he dont! the stranger said, `for years were hard on Jack; 
But, if he were a mile away, I swear Id know his back. 
`I doubt it much, the super said, and sadly puffed his briar, 
`I guess he wears a pair of wings -- Jack Dunn of Nevertire; 
Jack Dunn of Nevertire, 
Brave Dunn of Nevertire, 
He caught a fever nursing me, Jack Dunn of Nevertire. 

We took the stranger round to where a gum-tree stood alone, 
And in the grass beside the trunk he saw a granite stone; 
The names of Dunn and Nevertire were plainly written there -- 
`Im all broke up, the stranger said, in sorrow and despair, 
`I guess he has a wider run, the man that I require; 
Hes got a river-frontage now, Jack Dunn of Nevertire; 
Straight Dunn of Nevertire, 
White Jack from Nevertire, 
I guess Saint Peter knew the name of `Dunn of Nevertire.

Henry Lawson's other poems:
  1. The Heart of Australia
  2. The Bush Girl
  3. The Song of Old Joe Swallow
  4. Mount Bukaroo
  5. The Fire at Rosss Farm

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