Henry Lawson

The Way I Treated Father

a Bush Song

I worked with father in the bush At splitting rails and palings. He never was unkind to me, Although he had his failings: And now his grave is old and green, And now at times I’m rather Inclined to think ’twas very mean The way I treated father. The mother had for years been dead, And Dad and I and Stumpy Were living in a little shed What bushmen call a humpy; And now I think when day began, And it was cold and chilly, ’Twas mean to see a grey old man Get up and boil the billy. And though my lazy limbs were stiff; And though ’twas winter weather. And though my eyes were shut as if The lids were glued together, I think ’twas mean to lie in bed; I think that I was silly, Because I growled if father said, Git up and bile the billy! I didn’t help the cooking much For I was always tired ’Twas strange that I could eat with such An appetite as I had; But now I mind I never growled When father shouted, Willie! It’s gittin’ on for dinnertime; Go home and bile the hilly. His grave is growing old and green And things have altered rather; But still I think ’twas mighty mean The way I treated father. He left a tidy sum to me, But I’d give all the money To hear him say, Will you get up And bile the billy, Sonny?

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