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The Glass on the Bar

by Henry Lawson (1867-1922)

Australian writer

Three bushmen one morning rode up to an inn,
And one of them called for the drinks with a grin;
They'd only returned from a trip to the North,
And, eager to greet them, the landlord came forth.
He absently poured out a glass of Three Star.
And set down that drink with the rest on the bar.

‘There, that is for Harry,’ he said, ‘and it's queer,
‘'Tis the very same glass that he drank from last year;
‘His name's on the glass, you can read it like print,
‘He scratched it himself with an old piece of flint;
‘I remember his drink – it was always Three Star’ -
And the landlord looked out through the door of the bar.

He looked at the horses, and counted but three:
‘You were always together – where's Harry?’ cried he.
Oh, sadly they looked at the glass as they said,
‘You may put it away, for our old mate is dead;’
But one, gazing out o'er the ridges afar,
Said, ‘We owe him a shout – leave the glass on the bar.’

They thought of the far-away grave on the plain,
They thought of the comrade who came not again,
They lifted their glasses, and sadly they said:
‘We drink to the name of the mate who is dead.’
And the sunlight streamed in, and a light like a star
Seemed to glow in the depth of the glass on the bar.

And still in that shanty a tumbler is seen,
It stands by the clock, ever polished and clean;
And often the strangers will read as they pass
The name of a bushman engraved on the glass;
And though on the shelf but a dozen there are,
That glass never stands with the rest on the bar.

About the Author

See our page on Henry Lawson Includes a linked list of all his writing available on our website.

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