Henry Lawson

Saint Peter

Now, I think there is a likeness ‘twixt St Peter’s life and mine For he did a lot of trampin’ long ago in Palestine He was ‘union’ when the workers first began to organize And I’m glad that old St Peter keeps the gate of Paradise When the ancient agitator and his brothers carried swags I’ve no doubt he very often tramped with empty tucker-bags And I’m glad he’s Heaven’s picket, for I hate explainin’ things And he’ll think a union ticket just as good as Whitely King’s When I reach the great head-station -which is somewhere ‘off the track’ I won’t want to talk with angels who have never been out back They might bother me with offers of a banjo meanin’ well And a pair of wings to fly with, when I only want a spell I’ll just ask for old St Peter, and I think, when he appears I will only have to tell him that I carried swag for years ‘I’ve been on the track,’ I’ll tell him, ‘an’ I done the best I could’ And he’ll understand me better than the other angels would He won’t try to get a chorus out of lungs that’s worn to rags Or to graft the wings on shoulders that is stiff with humpin’ swags But I’ll rest about the station where the work-bell never rings Till they blow the final trumpet and the Great Judge sees to things.

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