(Henry Lawson)

When the Children Come Home

On a lonely selection far out in the West 
An old woman works all the day without rest, 
And she croons, as she toils neath the skys glassy dome, 
`Sure Ill keep the ould place till the childer come home. 

She mends all the fences, she grubs, and she ploughs, 
She drives the old horse and she milks all the cows, 
And she sings to herself as she thatches the stack, 
`Sure Ill keep the ould place till the childer come back. 

It is five weary years since her old husband died; 
And oft as he lay on his deathbed he sighed 
`Sure one man can bring up ten children, he can, 
An its strange that ten sons cannot keep one old man. 

Whenever the scowling old sundowners come, 
And cunningly ask if the masters at home, 
`Be off, she replies, `with your blarney and cant, 
Or Ill call my son Andy; hes workin beyant. 

`Git out, she replies, though she trembles with fear, 
For she lives all alone and no neighbours are near; 
But she says to herself, when shes like to despond, 
That the boys are at work in the paddock beyond. 

Ah, none of her children need follow the plough, 
And some have grown rich in the city ere now; 
Yet she says: `They might come when the shearing is done, 
And Ill keep the ould place if its only for one.

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