Skyline Riders and Other Verses

The Imported Servant

Henry Lawson

THE BLUE SKY arches o’er mountain and valley,
    The scene is as fair as a scene can be,
But I’m breaking my heart for a London alley,
    And fogs that shall never come back to me.
I choke with tears when the day is dying—
    The sunsets grand and the stars are bright;
But it’s O! for the smell of the fried fish frying
    By the flaring stalls on a Saturday night.

And this, oh, this is the lonely sequel
    Of all I pictured would come to pass!
They are treating me here as a friend and equal,
    But they’d say in London that they’re no class.
When I think of their kindness my tears flow faster—
    The girls are free and the chaps are grand:
It’s “the boss” and “the missus” for mistress and master,
    And they may be right—But I don’t understand.

I see the air in its warm pulsation
    On sandstone cliffs where the ocean dips,
But I’m miles and miles from the railway station
    Where trains run down to the wharves and ships.
Those streets are dingy and dark and narrow,
    The soot comes down with the rain and sleet;
But, O! for the sight of a coster’s barrow,
    And Sunday morning in Chapel Street!

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