Navvy Jack

Clarence and Richmond Examiner Thursday 6 April 1911 p.8

"Navvy Jack."

He's a sinewy man and strong,  
The hero of my simple song;
Not a man of high degree,
Just a son of honest toil,
Who ne'er yet on life's turmoil
(In this good land of the free),
Turned his broad; and manly back.
Often letters may not be ;
Current coin for such as he ;
Oft his speech is rough , and rude,
Nor with grammar much imbued ;
May not shine a saint appointed
In the eye of sects annointed,
For he's only Jack, Navvy Jack,
Navvy Jack—Just Navvy Jack.  

But let's drink a health to Jack,
Let us greet him as a friend,
For his hand will help you back
When you're on the downward bend,
To the hour of direct need,
When the pangs of hunger lead
To the depths of sorrow's wrack.
Say ! But who will share his meal,
Questioning not your soro appeal—
Navvy Jack—Just Navvy Jack.

He is a product of hard toil—
Just a diamond in the rough—
Raw material, but the stuff
That makes man a king—and royal.
All lands claim his lowly birth,
All lands need his sturdy work; .
Strength of muscle, breadth of back,
He is the man who builds the roads
To lonely pioneers' abodes ;
Brings along the iron bands
Linking town to country lands.
He is the plain, unlovely Navvy Jack,
Navvy Jack—Just Navvy Jack.

When the big guns boom and roar
'Cross the bloody fields of war,
When the whistling Mauser bullets ,
Often find their death paid billets,
Who, beneath the showering lead.
Digging trenches, digs a bed.
Covering oft his own broad back ?
Who goes down the lapse of years,      
Friendless 'mong the busy, throng,
Wept not o'er with pitying-tears ;
Wronged, but not deserving wrong ?
He's a diamond rough and rude ;
Oh ! How oft not understood.
Navvy Jack—Just Navvy Jack.

But we'll drink a health to him,
Judging not his sins alone,  
Oft our views, obscurely dim,
Sees not deeds that sins atone,
And, unjustly Just, condemn unheard
Sins that he but sins in word,.
For I know when Doom's dread crack
Snaps the chains of earthly life,
And the weary round of strife
Ceases. The Great Judge will judge  
None unheard—nor king, nor drudge,
Nor high, nor low—nor Navvy Jack.

                                   P. K. POWER.

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