Charles Henry Soutar poems

Charles Henry Soutar(11 October 1864 - 20 August 1944 / Aberdeen, Scotland)
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Harvest Time

- by Charles Henry Soutar 23

When the cranky German waggon,
With its ten or fifteen bag on
Comes a-jerkin' and a-joltin' down the dusty, limestone street,
And the “Norther's” blowin' blindin',
And the rollers are a-grindin',
And the agent jabs his sampler thro' the sackin' to the wheat,
Let 'em slide along the plank! slide along! slide along!
Sixty bushels for the Bank; slide along!

When your back is fairly breakin'
And your very fingers shakin'
With the heavin', heavin', heavin', in the blarsted, blazin' sun;
And the agent finds the spots out
And takes all his sample lots out
Where its rusty, pinched, or smutty—knockin' off five pound a ton;
Sling 'em over with a jerk! slide along! slide along!
Sixty days of wasted work! slide along!

Sixty days a-ploughin' mallee
In the God-forgotten valley
Of the creepin', crawlin' Murray, with the dingoes for your mates!
Sow and harrow, roll and reap it,
But you get no show to keep it,
For it's “Boom and bust yer biler” when the cocky speculates!
Let the bankers take the lot: slide along! slide along!
Farmin' mallee's bloomin' rot—slide along!

The Mallee Fire

- by Charles Henry Soutar 17

I SUPPOSE it just depends on where you're raised,
Once I met a cove as swore by green belar!
Couldn't sight the good old mallee-stump I praised;
Well!—I couldn't sight belar, and there you are!
But the faces in the fire where the mallee stump's a-blinking
Are the friendliest I ever seen, to my way o' thinking!

In the city where the fires is mostly coal—
There! I can't a-bear to go and warm my feet!
Spitting, fizzing things as hasn't got no soul!
Things as puffs out yaller smoke instead of heat!
But at home—well, it is home when the mallee-stump's a-burning,
And the evenin's drawing chilly and the season is a-turning.

And there's some as runs 'em down because they're tough.
Well? And what's the good of anythink as ain't?
No. It's nary use to serve 'em any bluff,
For they'd use up all the patience of a saint.
But they'll split as sweet as sugar if you know the way to take 'em;
If you don't, there isn't nothink in the world as'll make 'em.

They're tremenjus hard to kindle, tho', at first:
Like the friendship of the kind that comes to stay.
You can blow and blow and blow until you burst,
And when they won't, they won't burn, anyway!
But when once they gets a start, tho' they make no showy flashes,
Well, they'll serve you true and honest to the last pinch of ashes

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