A Hobo Retires

From the Queensland Newspaper the Townsville Daily Bulletin 26 Oct 1939 p. 5.
He has sent his nap to China,
And no doubt it's needed there,
His frying pan and billy
To the garbage dump are cast,
A vagabond is finished
With the road to anywhere,
In the luxuries of Sydney
He is home and dry at last.

His star kept bravely burning
In a sky of varied dreams.
That cheered his far-flung rovings
On the track of sweat and sin,
From the billabongs of Boulia
To the rippling coastal streams,
Till there came the welcome message
That his ship was sailing in.

On her mast a flag of triumph,
There was beauty in her line,
She was loaded to the gunwale,
Then was bullion In the hold,
And the only effort asked him
Was his signature to sign,
So he's happy as a gouger
Who has struck a reef of gold.

Yet he'll long to greet old-timers
Of some far-off railway camp,
And the youth of unemployment
With ambition set at naught.
They will mobilise them shortly,
Hark, the younger Anzacs tramp.
With the blood of older Anzacs
In "the kids for whom they fought."

It like a queer illusion
When he hears the morning knock
Of a dainty little sheila
With a tray of cakes and tea.
There's a sort of elfin magic
In the flounces of her frock,
And he rubs his eyes and wonders
Sow the h——it all can be.

But it is— his linen's ironed,
and his pants are always creased,
There's a wardrobe bettered only
By a Gloucester or a Kent,
There's a bellboy in attendance
Who's as handsome as a feast,
There's a small refrigerator—
Well you know for what it's meant.

It is good to see the porters
Rush to take his baggage in
As the station-master greets him
In a deferential tone.
But he thinks of other railways,
And it often makes him grain,
When he travelled 'neath tarpaulins
In a freight of blood and bone.

The policeman on the platform
Has a sweet and helpful pose.
While the bloke who often dodged 'em
Gets a comic thrill within,
Though perhaps a trifle conscious
Twas a "copper" broke his nose,
In a barney way up yonder,
On the track of sweat and sin.

There is lots of fun in Sydney
As the merry sights you scan,
There are places quite romantic
Though there's this a trifle sad—
He requires rejuvenation,
for he a scarce a youthful man,
And the blossoms on the beaches
Have been known to call him Dad.

For the toughest day there's sundown
For the longest road an end.
And you'll find your hardest tramping
On the morning you begin;
But you'll learn some compensations
That the hoboes comprehend,
If you're sharp and optimistic
On the track of sweat and sin.


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