Saint Peter (poem)


Saint Peter (poem)

"Saint Peter" is a well-known poem by iconic Australian writer and poet Henry Lawson. It was first published in 1893.

The poem references Saint Peter. It was written to music in 1975 by Australian musician Peter Duggan and is now a popular Australian folk song.

Freedom on the Wallaby

Now, I think there is a likeness'Twixt St Peter's life and mineFor he did a lot of trampin'Long ago in Palestine.He was "union" when the workersFirst began to organise,And I'm glad that old St PeterKeeps the gate of Paradise.

When the ancient agitatorAnd his brothers carried swags,I've no doubt he very oftenTramped with empty tucker-bags;And I'm glad he's Heaven's picket,For I hate explainin' things,And he'll think a union ticketJust as good as Whitely King's.

He denied the Saviour's union,Which was weak of him, no doubt;But perhaps his feet was blisteredAnd his boots had given out.And the bitter storm was rushin'On the bark and on the slabs,And a cheerful fire was blazin',And the hut was full of "scabs".

When I reach the great head-station –Which is somewhere "off the track" – I won't want to talk with angelsWho have never been out back ;They might bother me with offersOf a banjo – meanin' well –And a pair of wings to fly with,When I only want a spell.

I'll just ask for old St Peter,And I think, when he appears,I will only have to tell himThat I carried swag for years."I've been on the track," I'll tell him,"an' I done the best I could,"And he'll understand me betterThan the other angels would.

He won't try to get a chorusOut of lungs that's worn to rags,Or to graft the wings on shouldersThat is stiff with humpin' swags.But I'll rest about the stationWhere the work-bell never rings,Till they blow the final trumpetAnd the Great Judge sees to things.


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