Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems




From the George Bateman Collection, copiled by Howard Rose.


 The Sunburnt Bloke   

By Christopher Jones, Sydney.


Have you met yet?  The sunburnt bloke,

With the faraway look in his eyes,

Not quite so ready to laugh and joke,

As he was, in days gone by,

But trying to settle down again,

And finding it hard to do.

Have you met him yet?

The sunburnt bloke, who offered his life for you?


He may not be all you've pictured him,

He may not be polished and spry.

But don't forget, he went through Hell,

Fighting for you and I.

Then fought his way, through Hell and back,

But he won't say much about that.

He only remembers what the placards said.

"Hey Mister, Here's your hat".


So he went away with a smile on his face,

And a heart that was beating high,

And he offered a life, that had just begun,

For the likes of you and I.

Remember a few short years ago,

When things looked mighty grim,

Remember the way we used to say;

"Thank God, for the likes of him".


Remember the way we marvelled at,

The wonderful things he did.

Remember we said we owed our all,

To the freckled faced, bit of a kid.

Remember the way he paid our debts,

He paid them in blood and sweat.

Remember  we solemly promised God,

That we would never forget.


So, if you ever meet the Sunburnt Bloke,

Be proud to grip his hand.

The hand that fought so well for you,

In many a distant land.

And give him a chance, a decent chance,

It's the least that we can do.

A chance to live in the land he loves,

The chance that he gave to you.   


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