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Title:  The Auld Shop and the New
Author: Henry Lawson
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 2000741h.html
Language: English
Date first posted:  August 2020
Most recent update: August 2020

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The Auld Shop and the New

by
Henry Lawson

Note: The original manuscript was presented to the publishers by Henry Lawson in 1910. It was held by the publishers until 1923 after the author's death and only 75 copies were printed. Since no copies could be located of the original publication, this is based on the handwritten manuscript.

CONTENTS

Dedication
Lawson’s Preface
The Auld Shop and the New
The Scots
The Original Manuscript

Dedication

Writen specially for
“The Chief”,
George Robertson
of
Angus & Robertson

As some slight acknowledgment of and small return for His splendid generosity during years of trouble and addressed to Donald Angus.

      
            Sydney January 1910

Lawson’s Preface
Note to The Auld Shop and the New

No attempt is made to stick to the Scottish or any dialect—I have many “dialects” and much slang to choose from, including my own gude Outback Australian, “Bingi’s” and Pigin (sic) English and intend to use my (i.e. Henry Lawson's) privelege in all semi Scottish rhymes—notably one on massage to be published—that I may write.

“The Auld Shop and the New” to be the property of the Head of the Firm, to do with as he likes and to be added to as the years go on.

I trust he and his partners will take it in the “spirit”in which it was written—To express great praise or gratitude in the rhyme itself or tone or smooth down would be to spoil the “art” (or artfulness) of the thing and be false to the idea or “inspiration” of it. It is written hurridly (sic), as composed, and, as any one may see, not revised.

           

The “chief” knows where it was actively composed, and under what circumstances.  H L

 

The Auld Shop and The New

Oh! do you mind the auld shop, Dan?
    They’ve scarcely left a hint —
Where Banjo and meself, lang syne,
    Brot our furse books to print.
They’ve partly left the auld front, Dan,
    But that is going too —
An’ sae I sadly sing the sang:
    “The Auld Shop an’ the New!”

Twa boxes ’neath the window-sills
    Stood open to the glare,
An’ soiled and tattered Secon’-Han’
    Took dust, or fluttered there.
Twa cards stood on the pavement stanes,
    Writ large for great an’ sma’,
Wi’ ALL IN THIS BOX SAXPENCE, Dan,
An’ A’ IN THIS BOX TWA.

Our furse bukes made them publishers
    Weel kent throughout the wirl —
The young chief gave his leg a fling
    And gie’d his pipes a skirl:
He took those boxes from the door
    In all his prideful sin,
And ca’ed a saw-and-hammer man
    To board the spaces in.

Depar-r-tments grew by yards since then,
    The shelves have run by miles,
But, save his winsome selling-smile,
    The Black Chief seldom smiles.
And mony a time he thinks an’ sighs,
    An’ longs, wi’ bitter pain,
(As Banjo put it aince) to see
    Those boxes back again!

We had no blue agreements then
    To blaw us North and South,
For, when I made anither buke,
    We went by word o’ mouth.
Then I’d gang hame and gang to bed,
    An’ he’d sit up an’ write —
An’ what we signed at morn was not
    The things we said at night.

He was a bonny leer, Dan —
    Gie him the time to think —
And waur than a’ the lawyer clerks
    When he took pen and ink.
But neither party said a word,
    And neither soul was vext,
For gin he had me ane year, Dan,
    I sure had him the next.

A big bird telt me, Dan, when furse
    He fixed his furse shop right,
An’ stock’t the shelves wi’ Secon’-Han’,
    He’d aft gang back at night
An’ light an’ tak a candle roun’,
    An’ tak it roun’ again,
An’ pinch himsel’ tae prove it true
    That it was a’ his ain!

An’, losh! how he lo’ed Dymock’s, Dan!
    Wi’ luve surpassing sin —
An’ upstarts — as, in my ain time,
    He lo’ed the Bulletin.
An’ do you mind the priest wha came,
    An’, wi’ a father’s air,
Bade him gang doon to Dymock’s, Dan,
    An’ get some wrinkles there?

He wadna serve that priest agen —
    Sent Wymark when he’d come —
Lord! how the young chief hated him
    Wi’ hate that went to Rome.
(He prided his arrangement, Dan —
    From pamphlet up to tome —
An’ warked on it by candle-light,
    An’ warked on it at home.)

He didna ken that priest wad gang
    To Dymock’s, peerin’ through,
An’ say he kent his father, Dan,
    His father’s father too,
An’ ask him why he didna gang
    To see how it was done —
An’ get some hints to clear his mess —
    At Angus Robertson.

An’ they importit skeletons
    In those auld days, lang dead,
An’ kept them (where we used to “crack”)
    In boxes, in the shed:
A skull, an’ half a skeleton,
    Frae places oversea,
To sell to prentice sawbones at
    Oor Univairsity.

Do you mind how I bought ane, Dan,
    An’ showed it everywhere,
An’ tuk it hame to orniment
    Ma dressing-table there;
An’ how the landlord cast me oot
    Upon the pavement stane? —
Because it scared the landlady
    An’ she was sax months gane!

Do you mind how I sel’t my ain?
    You bot it on the chance —
We drew a firm agreement up,
    Five shillings in advance! —
To hae a night wi’ Robbie Burns;
    An’, after years of fret,
The only harm I wish you, Dan,
    You’ll live to claim it yet.

Oh! do you min’ the day when, full
    Of poetry an’ grief —
An’ a’ because I lo’ed him weel —
    I longed to fight the chief?
I’d fight Maccallum, sober times,
    The chief when I was tight —
Do you mind how I greeted, Dan,
    Because he wadna fight?

Maccallum steered me to the shed
    Behin’ (lang vanished, too),
An’ said “Exactly!” ilka time
    An’ gie’d his promise true;
He soothed me there wi’ promises
    Sae cunning, smooth, an’ sly —
He tauld me that the chief would come
    An’ fight me by-an’-by!

Oh! do you min’ the morn I brot,
    Like bottle by the throat,
The “Star o’ Australasia”, Dan? —
    The graundest thing I wrote.
O’Connor’s pillar-boxes, Dan,
    Went reeling doon the Street —
Drunk wi’ deevine afflatus, Dan,
    I cudna keep ma feet!

They helped me to the shed behind,
    Those preenting Philisteens,
An’ proodly spread for me a bed
    O’ dusty magazines.
They gie’d me something on account,
    An’ something for my cough,
An’ left me there all day to sleep
    The inspiration off.

Oh, do you mind the auld lees, Dan,
    The dear old lees of auld? —
The dear auld lees that warmed the heart,
    Nor left the pockets cauld.
But now they’ve got braw legal lees
    In red an’ black an’ blue;
An’ sae I sadly sing the sang,
    “The Auld Lees, an’ the New!”

The chief has grown more plausible,
    More polished an’ polite,
An’ a’ the customers he kens
    Are “straight” men, Dan, or “white”
(Sma’ blame) so lang’s the bawbees come;
    He never draws the line —
Gin a’ he kens are white men, Dan,
    Gie me some black in mine.

We spoke and wrote of a’ things plain,
    Left naething understood —
There were twa bards in a’ the land,
    But baith o’ them were gude ....
Now Bush Bards flock to Redfern, Dan,
    The sinfu’ toon to see,
An’ publishers hae nephews there
    Wi’ uncles in Feegee.

They publish bukes to praise bukes up,
    And ithers to condemn —
They publish bukes on ither bukes
    And ither bukes on them.
They publish bukes on garden stuff,
    An’ how to roast an’ scald —
Twixt midwif’ry an’ poetry
    Poor Shenstone’s gangin’ bald!

They caught a braw new partner, Dan,
    An’ banked his gear away;
Down columns ruled in red an’ black
    He runs his beak all day,
Like chalk-marked rooster mesmerised —
    I dinna like his looks;
But, maist the time, you canna tell
    His backside from his books.

An’ Wymark’s grown more hatchet-faced
    An’ white about the gills;
Wi’ musty food for reading runts
    The table-troughs he fills.
His nose is growing, ilka day,
    More like a parson’s snoot
That ploughs between the leaves to sniff
    The Social Evil oot.

He’s got a braw new Gallery,
    Wi’ skylights in the air —
An’ one square foot of polished floor’s
    Worth all the pictures there!
The folk gang peerin’ round all day,
    A bitter payin’ farse —
He doesna’ ken a painting, Dan,
    Frae a painted monkey’s—!

I didna mean it that way, Dan —
    We a’ must cheat to earn —
He doesna ken a picture from
    A painted monkey’s stern.
The she baboon he’s put in chairge,
    An’ the public ken nae mair;
An’ a’ day lang the fules peer round,
    An’ some are fleeced fu’ sair.

Your auld desk’s gane, for privy seats,
    That held my I.O.U.
(I sing the auld deposites, Dan,
    The auld anes, an’ the new).
The weel-worn stair is taken down
    To fit the stroan saloon —
An’ you awa in Scotian’, Dan,
    When a’ these things were dune.

The Scots

A Dirge
(Wi’ a’ affection)

Black Scots and red Scots,
    Red Scots and black;
I hae dealt wi’ the red Scot,
    An’ dealt wi’ the black.

The Red Scot is angry
    Among the sons o’ men—
He’ll pay you a bawbee,
    An’ steal it back again.

Black Scots and red Scots,
    Red Scots and black;
I hae dealt wi’ the red Scot,
    An’ dealt wi’ the black.

The Black Scot is frien’ly—
    A brither an’ a’—
He’ll pay you a bawbee,
    An’ steal back twa.

The Ginger Scot o’ a’ Scots,
    The warst shade o’ Scot,
For he’ll pay ye naething,
    An’ tak’ a’ you’ve got.

Black Scots and red Scots,
    Short Scots an’ lang,
Ginger Scots an’ bald Scots—
    I dealt wi’ the gang.

The Original Manuscript

Page images courtesy of Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

[Click on an image to view a larger version]


Cover Sheet

Note to The Old Shop & The New

Dedication

 


The Old Shop & The New page 1

page 2

page 3

 


page 3B

page 3C

page 3 & 4

 


page 5

page 6

page 7

 


page 8


page 9

page10

 


THE END

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