Henry Lawson

The Flour Bin

By Lawson’s Hill, near Mudgee, On old Eurunderee – The place they called New Pipeclay, Where the diggers used to be – On a dreary old selection, Where times were dry and thin, In a slab and shingle kitchen There stood a flour bin. ‘Twas ploorer with the cattle, ‘Twas rust and smut in wheat, ‘Twas blight in eyes and orchards, And coarse salt-beef to eat. Oh, how our mothers struggled Till eyes and brain were dull – Oh, how our fathers slaved and toiled To keep those flour bins full! We’ve been in many countries, We’ve sailed on many seas; We’ve travelled in the steerage And lived on land at ease. We’ve seen the world together Through laughter and through tears – And not been far from baker’s bread These five and thirty years. The flats are green as ever, The creeks go rippling through; The Mudgee Hills are showing Their deepest shades of blue; Those mountains in the distance That ever held a charm Are fairer than a picture As seen from Cox’s farm. On a German farm by Mudgee, That took long years to win, On the wide bricked back verandah There stands a flour bin; And the dear old German lady – Though the bakers’ carts run out – Still keeps a fifty in it Against a time of drought. It was my father made it, It stands as good as new, And of the others like it There still remain a few. God grant, when drought shall strike us, The young will take a pull, And the old folk their strength anew To keep those flour bins full.

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