The Poetry Corner

The Fitzroy Blacksmith

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

With Apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("The Village Blacksmith") Under the spreading deficit, The Fitzroy Smithy stands; The smith, a spendthrift man is he, With too much on his hands; But the muscles of his brawny jaw Are strong as iron bands. Pay out, pay put, from morn till night, You can hear the sovereigns go; Or you'll hear him singing "Old Folks at Home", In a deep bass voice and slow, Like a bullfrog down in the village well When the evening sun is low. The Australian going "home" for loans Looks in at the open door; He loves to see the imported plant, And to hear the furnace roar, And to watch the private firms smash up Like chaff on the threshing-floor. Toiling, rejoicing, borrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some scheme begun That never sees its close. Something unpaid for, someone done, Has earned a night's repose.