Daybreak or Clem Gray - Before and After

The following verse was written by Daybreak or Clem Gray. It is reproduced here in the belief that copyright for the item has lapsed, the author having died in 1933, but if you have any concerns in this regard please contact us.

Before and After

I met a stranger in the street who said he 'd humped his swag
From Mengha down to Tierney Town to replenish his tucker bag.
"Come in and have a wet," he said - When a man is parched and dry
This dandelion is right enough, so come and have a try".

When half way through his dandelion he paused and said, "ahem " -
"The city's crowded out today with energetic men -
Has Broncho's circus just arrived with mule and monkey car?
Or is Tommy Burns expected here to teach us how to spar?"

My friend," I said, "you're off the track, it is the Football Club,
And Tommy Burns is far away from any local pub.
Those energetic men you see are fixing up the Hall
And tonight North Forest Football Club hold their initial ball

"You'd better take a ticket, Sir, 'tis only half-a-crown,"
He said - "I will - and stay tonight in dear old Tierney Town."
And after tea I saw once more, in shop made coat and pants
The stranger I had met before, rigged ready for the dance .

From East and West the people came, and soon the township street
Resounded with their laughter, and the merry tramp of feet.
Quite soon the hall was crowded with those faces ever fair;
And bright eyes flashed across the room for lad and lass were there.

The youth, with beauty on his side, the old man, bent and grey,
Went waltzing round on equal terms, with partners young and gay.
The bitter things we would forget when darker shadows fall,
As we swing our partners round the room, we never once recall.

I saw her but a moment there; oh, could she understand
The softness of that ardent look, that pressure of the hand?
How quickly fly the moments when the spirits are aglow !
Sure, now the day is breaking, and its time for me to go.

"Hello! my Mengha friend once more, it 's time you were in bed"
He was standing at the ballroom door, and this is what he said -
"I only came to have a look, as buffers mostly do;
As you can see, I 'm not a child, I'm nearly fifty-two;

But bright eyes seemed to smile for me; my thoughts were all astray ,
Then I did my block completely when the Professor began to play.
I clean forgot that I was old - across the room I flew
And asked a lady for a dance, and she obliged me, too.

Dance after dance I've had since then ith partners, bright and gay,
Who didn't seem to mind my age, though I am old and grey.
I've had a jovial time my friend, and many months may pass
Before I see you all again, so come and have a glass.

He downed another dandelion and said, "Now don't forget,
When you footballers hold you hall next year I'll bring a Fancy Set."

DAYBREAK 1912