Featured poem by Banjo Paterson
This is the poem called
The Man from Ironbark.
It is a great yarn.
It was published in
The Bulletin, 17 December 1892.
THE MAN FROM IRONBARK by Banjo Paterson
It was the man from Ironbark who struck
the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he
wandered up and down.
He loitered here, he loitered there,
till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he
sought a barber's shop.
"'Ere! shave my beard and whiskers
off, I'll be a man of mark,
I'll go and do the Sydney toff up home
The barber man was small and flash, as
barbers mostly are,
He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he
smoked a huge cigar;
He was a humorist of note and keen at
He laid the odds and kept a
"tote", whatever that may be,
And when he saw our friend arrive, he
whispered, "Here's a lark!
Just watch me catch him all alive, this
man from Ironbark."
There were some gilded youths that sat
along the barber's wall.
Their eyes were dull, their heads were
flat, they had no brains at all;
To them the barber passed the wink, his
dexter eyelid shut,
"I'll make this bloomin' yokel
think his bloomin' throat is cut."
And as he soaped and rubbed it in he
made a rude remark:
"I s'pose the flats is pretty
green up there in Ironbark."
A grunt was all reply he got; he shaved
the bushman's chin,
Then made the water boiling hot and
dipped the razor in.
He raised his hand, his brow grew
black, he paused awhile to gloat,
Then slashed the red-hot razor-back
across his victim's throat:
Upon the newly-shaven skin it made a
livid mark -
No doubt it fairly took him in - the
man from Ironbark.
He fetched a wild up-country yell might
wake the dead to hear,
And though his throat, he knew full
well, was cut from ear to ear,
He struggled gamely to his feet, and
faced the murd'rous foe:
"You've done for me! you dog, I'm
beat! one hit before I go!
I only wish I had a knife, you blessed
But you'll remember all your life the
man from Ironbark."
He lifted up his hairy paw, with one
He landed on the barber's jaw, and
knocked the barber out.
He set to work with nail and tooth, he
made the place a wreck;
He grabbed the nearest gilded youth,
and tried to break his neck.
And all the while his throat he held to
save his vital spark,
And "Murder! Bloody murder!"
yelled the man from Ironbark.
A peeler man who heard the din came in
to see the show;
He tried to run the bushman in, but he
refused to go.
And when at last the barber spoke, and
said "'Twas all in fun—
'Twas just a little harmless joke, a
"A joke!" he cried, "By
George, that's fine; a lively sort of lark;
I'd like to catch that murdering swine
some night in Ironbark."
And now while round the shearing floor
the list'ning shearers gape,
He tells the story o'er and o'er, and
brags of his escape.
"Them barber chaps what keeps a
tote, By George, I've had enough,
One tried to cut my bloomin' throat,
but thank the Lord it's tough."
And whether he's believed or no,
there's one thing to remark,
That flowing beards are all the go way
up in Ironbark.