The Mooch o’ Life

C.J. Dennis
Australian
1876 – 1938

 

This ev’nin’ I was sittin’ wiv Doreen,
Peaceful an’ ‘appy wiv the day’s work done,
Watchin’, be’ind the orchard’s bonzer green,
The flamin’ wonder of the settin’ sun.

Another day gone by; another night
Creepin’ along to douse Day’s golden light;
Another dawning when the night is gone,
To live an’ love — an’ so life mooches on.

Times I ‘ave thought, when things was goin’ crook,
When ‘Ope turned nark an’ Love forgot to smile,
Of somethin’ I once seen in some old book
Where an ole sorehead arsts, “Is life worf w’ile?”

But in that stillness, as the day grows dim,
An’ I am sittin’ there wiv ‘er an’ ‘im—
My wife, my son! an’ strength in me to strive,
I only know — it’s good to be alive!

Yeh live, yeh love, yeh learn; an’ when yeh come
To square the ledger in some thortful hour,
The everlastin’ answer to the sum
Must allus be, “Where’s sense in gittin’ sour?”

Fer when yeh’ve come to weigh the good an’ bad —
The gladness wiv the sadness you ‘ave ‘ad —
Then ‘im ‘oo’s faith in ‘uman goodness fails
Fergits to put ‘is liver in the scales.

Livin’ an’ loving learnin’ day be day;
Pausin’ a minute in the barmy strife
To find that ‘elpin’ others on the way
Is gold coined fer your profit — sich is life.

I’ve studied books wiv yearnings to improve,
To ‘eave meself out of me lowly groove,
An’ ‘ere is orl the change I ever got:
“‘Ark at yer ‘eart, an’ you kin learn the lot.”

I gives it in — that wisdom o’ the mind —
I wasn’t built to play no lofty part.
Orl such is welkim to the joys they find;
I only know the wisdom o’ the ‘eart.

An’ ever it ‘as taught me, day be day,
The one same lesson in the same ole way:
“Look fer yer profits in the ‘earts o’ friends,
Fer ‘atin’ never paid no dividends.”

Life’s wot yeh make it; an’ the bloke ‘oo tries
To grab the shinin’ stars frum out the skies
Goes crook on life, an’ calls the world a cheat,
An’ tramples on the daisies at ‘is feet.

But when the moon comes creepin’ o’er the hill,
An’ when the mopoke calls along the creek,
I takes me cup o’ joy an’ drinks me fill,
An’ arsts meself wot better could I seek.

An’ ev’ry song I ‘ear the thrushes sing
That everlastin’ message seems to bring;
An’ ev’ry wind that whispers in the trees
Gives me the tip there ain’t no joys like these:

Livin’ an’ loving wand’rin’ on yeh way;
Reapin’ the ‘arvest of a kind deed done;
An’ watching in the sundown of yer day,
Yerself again, grown nobler in yer son.

Knowin’ that ev’ry coin o’ kindness spent
Bears interest in yer ‘eart at cent per cent;
Measurin’ wisdom by the peace it brings
To simple minds that values simple things.

An’ when I take a look along the way
That I ‘ave trod, it seems the man knows best,
Who’s met wiv slabs of sorrer in ‘is day,
When ‘e is truly rich an’ truly blest.

An’ I am rich, becos me eyes ‘ave seen
The lovelight in the eyes of my Doreen;
An’ I am blest, becos me feet ‘ave trod
A land ‘oo’s fields reflect the smile o’ God.

Livin’ an’ lovin’; learnin’ to fergive
The deeds an’ words of some un’appy bloke
Who’s missed the bus — so ‘ave I come to live,
An’ take the ‘ole mad world as ‘arf a joke.

Sittin’ at ev’nin’ in this sunset-land,
Wiv ‘Er in all the World to ‘old me ‘and,
A son, to bear me name when I am gone…
Livin’ an’ lovin’ — so life mooches on.

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