Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Letter to Fred

This was a letter written by my Dad to his Brother Fred in 1936.

Letter To

I undertake in these few verses,
My dear old brother
To tell you just how light my purse is.
And what I’ve been doing of late.

Last year in 1935, I was working In Yallourn
But snatched it coming on the summer
I think the only trouble was
The weather got too warm.

For when a man is hanging all day
To the end of a pick or shovel,
It’s then he tries to better himself
And gets further into trouble.

I finished up, and went to town
And to those city agents I went and did the rounds,
Of course I didn’t know the ropes too well,
But everytime I got lost, I managed to locate the bell.

I’ll tell you Fred it weren’t no easy task,
Climbing all those flights of stairs
Until at last I took a tumble,
And got in those lift affairs.

When I introduced myself
And said, “ I want to buy a farm”
They held out their hands to me
Of course I took it calm.

They praised up the blocks they had,
And made me feel like a squatter too
When they asked if I’d like to go,
And inspect a block or two.

The first place I went and saw Fred,
It had no boundary fence,
It was 3 parts heath and scrub
And bracken fern the rest.

Of course I turned it down Fred,
Don’t you think that that was best?
It was then I went to Hawsley, he’s another city sneak,
He took me out to where I am, out here at Dixons Creek.

He praised the place right up to me
As that they’re paid to do,
Until at last I said I’d take the place
And put the business through.

‘Twas then he took my shillings Fred
Every one I had
And things have set in dry my lad,
And things are bloody bad.

The little bit of fruit I had
It hardly paid to spray.
And to those
Melbourne agents
I went and gave away.

So now then Fred I’ve done my best,
With this you should agree,
So think yourself lucky
Freddie isn’t me.

So now then Fred I’ve got to close
At expenses I must look,
I’ve used up a 1/4 inch of pencil
And of paper , near a book.

So now I’ll say goodbye
Fred my fondest brother
Although we are so very close
We all love one another.

Merve Holt

1 comment:

Jan said...

Well, I'm impressed. I can see you come by your talent naturally. Prose, I get, poetry, not so much. Thank you for sharing your Dad's poem.